Premarital or Prenuptial Agreements
Before getting married, a couple can enter into a private contract to determine how they will allocate property and debt upon death or divorce. They can waive inheritance rights and other property rights (and provide for the other spouse voluntarily upon death by way of a will, trust or beneficiary designations). They can waive the right to have a court establish spousal support rights and contract for such rights privately, or waive such rights outright. It is important for an engaged couple to have frank discussions about their property and debt prior to getting married, because married couples fight over finances more than any other topic. It is logical to consider prior to marriage how property and debt should be divided if the marriage fails, rather than waiting to make such important decisions when the marriage is in trouble and emotions are raw.