Prenuptial agreements, or “prenups,” are legal contracts that couples enter into prior to marriage. These agreements dictate how the couple`s assets and property will be divided in the event of a divorce.
In Maryland, prenuptial agreements are governed by state law. Here are a few key things to know about prenups in Maryland:
– Requirements: To be valid, a prenuptial agreement in Maryland must be in writing and signed by both parties. It must also be entered into voluntarily, without coercion or duress from either party. Finally, the terms of the agreement cannot be unconscionable (meaning they are so one-sided that they are unfair to one party).
– What can be covered: Prenuptial agreements can cover a wide range of issues, including property division, spousal support, and even custody arrangements for future children. However, there are some limitations; for example, a prenup cannot waive a party`s right to child support.
– Limitations on property division: Maryland is an “equitable distribution” state, which means that in the event of a divorce, the court will divide the couple`s property in a way that is fair (but not necessarily equal). However, if the couple has a prenuptial agreement that dictates how property should be divided, the court will generally honor the terms of the agreement as long as it meets the requirements outlined above.
– Enforceability: Even if a prenuptial agreement meets all the legal requirements, it can still be challenged in court. For example, if one party can show that they were coerced into signing the agreement, or if the terms are so one-sided that they are clearly unfair, a court may refuse to enforce it.
It`s worth noting that prenuptial agreements can be a contentious issue for some couples. However, for others, they can provide a useful framework for discussing important financial and legal issues before tying the knot. If you`re considering a prenup in Maryland, it`s important to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can help you understand your options and ensure that your agreement is legally valid.