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Is a Marriage Planning Agreement Right For You?

Oct. 1, 2019

What is a Marriage Planning Agreement?

A Marriage Planning Agreement is a negotiated contract between you and your spouse, either before or during your marriage, which memorializes the expectations of the couple in a legally enforceable document. It is similar to a business partnership agreement, except instead of the terms of a business, the parties are agreeing on their expectations for one another in the marital relationship. A Marriage Planning Agreement covers topics such as:

  • Who owns property that was held before the marriage? Who owns property that is acquired during the marriage?

  • Will one spouse be financially supporting the other? What is each party expected to contribute to the household?

  • Do the parties have children together? Are they expected to? Will there be a primary caretaker?

  • What happens in the event of divorce? Should either spouse pay alimony? For how long? Who owns the house?

Like a business partnership agreement, a Marriage Planning Agreement is an indispensable tool for ensuring that both spouses have the same expectations for the marital relationship. Nobody would begin a business partnership without negotiating a partnership agreement. It is equally prudent not to begin a marital relationship that will hopefully last the rest of your lives without clear communication about what each person expects from the relationship.

A Marriage Planning Agreement can give you maximum flexibility to address issues your way, without interference from the government or anyone else who wants to tell you how your marriage should be.

Why Get a Marriage Planning Agreement?

1. You Already Have One

When you get a marriage license, you are subject to hundreds of laws and regulations which govern every issue addressed in a Marriage Planning Agreement. The difference is that when you negotiate an agreement, you are writing it yourself instead of the government writing it for you.

2. It Encourages Communication

Before getting married, not many couples discuss their expectations with the level of detail necessary for a relationship expected to last several decades. A Marriage Planning Agreement can encourage couples to communicate in detail about all facets of the future of the relationship.

3. It Prevents Future Litigation

Divorce can be an ugly and expensive process. While couples rarely expect to divorce, it is a risk for even the best marriages. A Marriage Planning Agreement takes much of the stress and expense out of divorce by negotiating many of the terms beforehand.

If you’re interested in learning more, contact Fenza Legal Services to discuss your options today!