Prenuptial, Postnuptial and Cohabitation Agreements

If you are planning to marry and want to preserve certain property as your separate property in the event of a dissolution, you should consider having a prenuptial agreement prepared. While this can be a sensitive discussion for couples, it is important for each party to be fully informed of their options. A properly drawn document will provide for the procedures and obligations to be implemented in the event of a dissolution.

If not done properly the prenuptial agreement may not be enforceable. For example, a prenuptial agreement can be executed no sooner than seven days from when it is first presented to a party, even if that party is represented by counsel. It is always recommended that each party have their own counsel to advise them in the process.

A postnuptial agreement is also possible, though these are subject to greater scrutiny than prenuptial agreements due to the fiduciary duties of spouses.  A postnuptial agreement may be appropriate where financial circumstances have changed significantly and the parties want to document their agreement regarding certain property and related obligations.

Maybe there is no planned marriage in your future but you want to live with another or others, share expenses, and/or jointly own property.  In this case a cohabitation agreement may be advisable, especially if you will be living in a residence owned by one of the parties.  This document details the rights and responsibilities the parties have regarding their assets and liabilities and what happens in the event of a death or separation.