Marriage can be an unforgettable experience between two loving people. It’s entrusting your heart to someone or sharing hopes and dreams about a future together. Couples celebrate this bond. But marriages aren’t perfect, and there will be problems in the future. Thus, it is best to ensure your assets are protected and that you get an equal share in the marriage. If you get a prenuptial agreement in Singapore, you can avoid disputes with your partner in the long run.
What Is A Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement (prenup) is a written contract defined by two people before getting married. For some couples, a prenup acts as insurance against future problems. If the couple Divorces, who gets a share of the assets? How will the children be protected? These are some just of the elements that a prenup usually covers.
In Singapore, prenups are not considered enforceable in and of themselves. Even though a prenup is considered binding, a Court may decide not to execute the terms. The other party will not be compelled by the Court to fulfil the terms of the contract. There are cases where a Court will enforce prenuptial agreements, but it’s relatively uncommon.
So is a prenuptial even important? Yes. As it is still considered a legal contract, a prenup must be able to meet the criteria of any basic legal contract – it must consider the benefit of both parties and must not be enforced through fraud, unconscionability, or misrepresentation.
What Can A Prenup Include?
Usually, a prenup agreement defines an equal property division between the couple. This is considered valid during and after the marriage (due to separation or Divorce).
Here are the other elements that a prenup can cover:
- Division of property during the marriage (Couples may split their assets 45/50 30/70. It depends on their decision.)
- Division of properties when the couple has Divorced, or an unfortunate circumstance results in the death of the other party
- Debts and liabilities owned by either one or both of the parties
- Maintenance concerns
- The governing law under the prenup
The enforceability of a prenup in Singapore is much more complex. This is because previous Court decisions and written laws all have to be taken into account before the Court decides if the prenup is enforceable.
Benefits Of Getting A Prenup
One of the main benefits of getting a prenup is avoiding drawn-out Court battles that affect a couple. Court cases are expensive and can take an emotional toll on a couple. Getting a prenup may not be the first thing on their list, but it does allow them to have frank conversations.
Ensure Certainty In Financial Agreements
If you have amassed some wealth and you find a partner who isn’t as well off, you may risk your finances during a Divorce. So, you may want to take strides in protecting your assets.
Before getting married, have an honest discussion with your future spouse about your finances. Ensure that both parties will receive equitable dividends in the event of a Divorce.
Establish Marital Property
The Court will divide a couple’s matrimonial assets based on several factors in a Divorce process. It’s considered a highly-contestable issue in Singapore, given that the result may significantly impact the other party’s standard of living.
Section 112 of the Women’s Charter delineates matrimonial assets as:
- Acquisition of the asset by one or both of the parties throughout the marriage
- Assets that the parties or the children have used
- Acquisition of assets before the marriage but has improved in quality and value during the marriage
Many things can be considered as assets, from the family car to a savings account owned by one of the parties. The HDB flat where the couple and children lived during the marriage may also be considered marital property.
Makes Divorce Proceedings Less Complicated
One cannot trace the starting point of the events leading up to the Divorce. It is usually a culmination of factors. Nevertheless, most couples are often on the same page about Divorce. But, there are instances where they start disagreeing on important issues, and this could make the process expensive.
The price of getting Divorced in Singapore can range from $1,500 to $30,000, not to mention the emotional impacts it may bring to both parties and the children (especially if they’re young).
However, with a well-drafted prenup, separating couples may avoid the above issues. Disputes may still arise, but they’re infrequent and will likely resolve quickly.
Protects Against Financial Woes
When marrying a person, you may not know of any debt obligations they may have. Protect yourself from shouldering this debt with a prenup.
For example, if one of the parties owes a high debt to creditors, the debt-free partner should not take on this cost. A prenuptial agreement can better serve your interests as it allows both parties to discuss debts and relief of obligations.
Ensures Your Children’s Security
If you have children from a previous relationship and want to ensure they get a share of your assets, a prenup can help. Your children will still have rights to your property, and they can benefit from their use.
What To Consider When Drafting A Prenuptial Agreement
When drafting a prenup, make sure its contents are pertinent and consistent with the policies and provisions in the Women’s Charter. This increases its chances of being upheld by the Courts.
If you want a well-drafted prenup, you may hire the services of our family lawyers at Singapore Family Lawyer. Get practical and sound legal advice by booking a free consultation with us through our WhatsApp hotline.
Frequently Asked Questions About Prenuptial Agreements In Singapore
Is It A Good Idea To Get A Prenup?
Yes. A prenup can be a wise investment. Not only does it help you anticipate future marital problems, it can also help avoid costly Divorce battles if the marriage does not last.
Does A Prenup Expire?
No. Unless a clause in the prenup contract defines its expiration date, the prenup should remain valid. If any amendments or revocations are to be made, they must have the consent of both parties.
Can You Revoke A Prenup?
Yes. A couple can nullify the original prenup if both of them mutually agree to do so.
Does Cheating Void A Prenup?
No, any infidelity or spousal abuse cannot be grounds for a prenup to become invalid — unless stated otherwise.
What Should I Know Before Signing A Prenup?
Before you enter into a contract with your partner, you’ll have to be comfortable disclosing your financial information. Financial information may include assets and investments such as real estate, liabilities, property, etc.