The papers you sign on your wedding day are probably the most important and binding legal document you will sign throughout your life.
The marriage contract is a legal commitment that each partner makes to the other that is defined, regulated and enforced by law.
The marriage contract also covers provisions regarding property rights, custody rights and impacts on inheritance rights.
The husband provided the only income and the wife cared for the home and children. Division of property and issues of maintenance reflect this common arrangement.
Of course, these days it is more common that both partners will work and bring income into the union. Perhaps the wife will bring in income whilst the husband cares for the children. Each partner may have existing assets, children or debts.
For many people, these new marital arrangements and circumstances need to be considered when entering the marriage contract.
Financial Agreements, specifically the prenuptial agreement (before marriage) and the postnuptial agreement allow the couple to formally set down in writing how they would like to divide their property (assets, debts) and maintenance issues in the event of a separation.Prenuptial (Before Marriage) Financial Agreement Postnuptial (After Marriage) Financial Agreement
The prenup agreement can be made before the wedding takes place and is the marital agreement most people are familiar with.
The postnuptial agreement can be made anytime after the wedding.