• Marie-Yves Nadine Jean-Baptiste

Should I Sign a Prenup?

Updated: Oct 8, 2021

These are situations where one person asks another to sign a prenuptial agreement before being married, to preserve the assets brought to the marriage and avoid the other party having access to those assets if the marriage is later dissolved. This contract is an agreement between two people intending to marry but want the contract signed before marriage as a condition of the union. The prenup goes by many names, it is also called: ante-nuptial and premarital agreement. In Maryland, there are no formal prenup laws, but the law of contracts will rule over a prenup agreement that is willingly signed between two parties.

What Stipulations Are in a Prenup?

Prenuptial agreements are contracts that are meant to provide a limitation on who can receive what assets if the couple is to wed, but later divorces. But there are also limitations as to what a prenup can and can’t do. For example, a prenup cannot:

  • Plan or contract a couple to schedule a divorce later

  • Change child custody or child support agreements that are already in place

  • Not enforce a promise to marry, with the exception of a pregnancy

  • Contract to alienate the affections of one party over another

What Is the Point of a Prenup? We are in Love!

Usually, one party asks the other party to sign a prenup agreement to protect assets brought to the marriage before the marriage. If one party asks for a prenup and the other party declines – then there is a problem that needs to be worked out before the wedding. Prenups are usually meant to keep separate assets that a person owned before joining in marriage, to prevent a spouse upon divorcing to “take everything” and “take the person to the cleaners” in the event that the marriage dissolves at a later date.

A prenup cannot be made under fraud, duress, coercion, or by mistake. If it is considered by the court to be extremely unfair from one party to another, it will also not be upheld under the law. This is for the public policy reason that the law does not favor agreements that are unfair to either party.

In Maryland, a prenup does not need to be notarized, but by getting the agreement formally notarized by both parties signing it, the agreement will be that much more valid under the law. Additionally, before a prenup is signed, both parties should offer full transparency for the assets that each party is bringing to the marriage. There should not be the case that one party is hiding assets from the other party before this agreement is made. Prenups are meant to be fair on their face, not nefarious deals made behind one spouse’s back to benefit the other spouse.

Maryland Prenup Lawyer

If you have questions regarding a prenup, give The Saint Yves Law Firm a call today. The time to call us is before you enter into this type of agreement, in order that you may have the best opportunity to determine the best agreement that will meet your needs. Schedule a consultation with our office, and let's talk about prenups, and what to look for in the wording of the contract. We are here for you and will answer any questions that you may have regarding these types of contracts.


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