Specialist Divorce & Family Lawyer

Prenuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement (Prenup) is a document which is signed before a marriage to set out soon-to-be married couple’s rights in relation to any property, debts, income and other assets purchased individually or together or that they have bought into their relationship if the relationship ends. The main purpose of writing a Prenup is to limit the potential claims on the wealth of one party to the marriage.

Prenup is entered to provide a measure of certainty and the means of protecting pre-marriage assets, inheritance and existing family commitments such as children from a previous marriage. Legally, once the marriage is officially registered and solemnized, all these assets become matrimonial assets.

Briefly, a Prenuptial Agreement can help: –

  • offer certainty to both parties by setting out the terms relating to division of financial assets in the event of a divorce
  • ensure that both assets acquired and debts incurred prior to a marriage by one party can be contained from affecting the other
  • give security, especially to the owners of big family businesses and family fortunes.

Who writes a Prenup?

The usual questions that may pop up in a fiancé’s mind: –

  • I wish to reduce possible disputes over monies with my new spouse
  • I wish to protect my property if our marriage fails
  • I wish to avoid engaging in prolonged and expensive litigation on ‘who gets what’ if we really go for divorce

Issues to Consider in a Prenup

  • Both parties are required to prepare a list of assets revealing respective financial positions
  • Both parties must take independent legal advice although parties always like to find one lawyer to save costs. Having two (2) sets of lawyers representing each side could avoid allegations that one party is forced to sign the Prenuptial Agreement
  • Parties must think into the future relating to circumstance that may arise during the marriage when parties have children, change in income and purchasing new assets during the marriage
  • Agree on review of the Prenuptial Agreement every few years. When there is a review of the Prenuptial Agreement during the marriage, the new agreement is called the Post-Nuptial Agreement which will be more contemporary and relevant to the developments in the marriage

Will a Prenup be Enforced by the Singapore Court?

When you marry, your assets become ‘matrimonial assets’ and, unless specifically protected can be considered for division between you within divorce proceedings. The main purpose of a Prenuptial Agreement is to limit the potential claims on the assets of one of the parties to the marriage and avoid costly litigation over “who gets what”.

At present, Singapore Courts do recognise Prenuptial Agreement (written overseas or in Singapore) to a certain extent and will take the agreement reached between the spouses seriously. This is so as a Prenuptial Agreement is evidence of your intentions to record terms entered into between the spouses as one of the factors that a court may consider when looking at all the circumstances of your case.

However, it is to note that the courts do not see a Prenuptial Agreement as carrying the same weight as a Court order thus will not ‘automatically’ be upheld or enforced by Singapore Court in the event of a divorce and/or dispute. The judges will refer back to section 112 of the Women’s Charter on the factors to consider when dividing the matrimonial assets of the parties in a ‘just and equitable’ manner; and section 114 of the Women’s Charter when considering ordering spousal and child maintenance and will not blindly follow whichever is written in the Prenuptial Agreement.

Some factors that the Singapore Family Justice Courts would take into consideration: –

  • Whether parties fully understand the concept of entering into a Prenuptial Agreement?
  • Whether parties sought independent legal advice with one lawyer or separate lawyers
  • Has there been duress to sign or has there been misrepresentation, undue influence or fraud present?
  • Was there full financial disclosure?
  • Would there be any injustice to any parties if the Prenuptial Agreement were upheld or not upheld? (For instance, laws which is in contravention to the protection of women enshrined in the Women’s Charter; or involves criminality)

Can I get a Prenuptial Agreement without a Lawyer?

We say that you may even represent yourself for a murder trial. However, it is in our view this course of action is not wise and no costs saving to speak of. Drafting a Prenuptial Agreement requires skills and knowledge of law which means the agreement is prepared in a particular way to close as many potential legal loopholes. Moreover, there are many more considerations that needs to be taken into account if you are to prepare a binding Prenuptial Agreement.

Our lawyers at Yeolaw are experienced in all aspect of Prenuptial Agreement. Call us at 62203400 or request a call back using our online form.


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