What Exactly Is An Antenuptial Agreement?

Are You Getting Married? If So, Now Is The Time To Think Of Your Future, Just In Case.

Prenuptial and antenuptial agreements aren’t just to protect you in case of a divorce, they also protect you and your business after the death of a spouse.

What Exactly Is An Antenuptial Agreement?

Antenuptial agreements are the same as prenuptial agreements. It is a written contract between two people who agree to marry but have assets that they want to retain individually during the marriage and after the marriage if the circumstances arise.

No one wants to think about getting a divorce, dealing with the death of a loved one, or even assuming that will happen, but sometimes life takes you places that you don’t expect to go. Due to the significance of the contract, a family law attorney is essential to make sure that all laws are followed and that the contract is legal and fair.

Why Should You Sign An Antenuptial Or Prenuptial Agreement?

There are several reasons to sign an antenuptial agreement. If you or your potential partner have substantial assets and property before the marriage and you agree to keep them separate from what you will own together, an antenuptial agreement will protect these assets, just in case. Children from prior relationships or marriages and inheritances can be included in the contract.

If you make more money than your future spouse, it is smart to make sure that your money is protected from any future circumstances that may arise. Antenuptial agreements are perfect for protecting your business in the case of a divorce.

Requirements Concerning The Contract

The antenuptial agreement must follow several requirements to be considered legally binding. The contract requires everything in writing and everything in writing must abide by state law. Agreeing on the details of the contract and planning for your future is a responsibility that shows you are ready for marriage.

The contract makes separation and divorce easier and quicker in case the issue comes up someday and is valid in every state when the details of the contract are designed by a family lawyer. Each person involved in the marriage has the right to their own attorney because it is considered a conflict of interest for both parties to share the same lawyer. But if each party fully agrees on every aspect of the contract, a single lawyer can be retained for legality purposes.

Each party signing the contract must do so voluntarily and not under any form of duress. All assets must be fully disclosed by each person and the agreements must be fair. The signing needs to be witnessed by a lawyer or notary, but a lawyer will make sure that all requirements are followed and legally binding.


The antenuptial agreement usually covers several things:

  • a person’s right to property and support during the marriage
  • their right to property and support during a divorce
  • their right to property and support upon the death of a spouse or partner

An antenuptial agreement will not determine what religion you will raise your kids in or determine how many kids you will have. The agreement will define nonmarital assets and debts in relation to property and money. For example, if your future spouse has a debt, such as student loans, and you don’t want responsibility for that debt then it can be included in the contract.

Alimony and spousal support can be predetermined and put into the agreement. The contract can also act as a form of a will in Minnesota where you can outline what exactly your spouse will retain in the case of a death. A sunset provision can be put in the contract which allows it to expire once a marriage has lasted strong for a certain amount of time. If you want the contract to dissolve after fifteen years of marriage, just add it to the paperwork.

Contact Beckman, Steen, & Lungstrom, P.A. For Your Family Law Needs

Even if the contract was signed consensually in the beginning, a spouse can try and argue its validity in court. So, whether you need protection in court or just guidance in creating and signing an antenuptial agreement, our experienced and compassionate attorneys at Beckman, Steen & Lungstrom, P.A. are here to serve you.

We advocate for mediation (ADR or alternative dispute resolution) over contention and believe that this process can make you a much stronger person once you get to the other side. Contact us for a free thirty-minute consultation and we will fight aggressively and intelligently in your corner. Allow us to advocate for you and help you solve your family problems.