What is an Antenuptial Contract?

What is an Antenuptial Contract?

An Antenuptial Contract is a legal agreement entered into by partners before marriage. The purpose is to diverge from the default matrimonial property system of Community of Property, where both parties share all assets and liabilities. Through an Antenuptial Contract, couples can specify which assets and debts are separate and not subject to joint ownership or responsibility.

Antenuptial vs. Prenuptial Contract: 

Is There a Difference? Though commonly used interchangeably, the terms “Antenuptial Contract” and “Prenuptial Contract” serve the same fundamental purpose. However, the term “Prenuptial Contract” is primarily used in the American legal system. Both agreements enable future spouses to set their own financial rules for the marriage, apart from those outlined in common law.

Applicability of Antenuptial Contracts in Various Matrimonial Systems

An Antenuptial Contract is not universally applicable across all matrimonial property systems. It is particularly relevant for those who choose to marry Out of Community of Property. In such marriages, partners may opt for this agreement to separate certain assets and liabilities. If a couple prefers to abide by the default Community of Property system, then an Antenuptial Contract is unnecessary. The agreement can also be formulated with or without the Accrual system, providing flexibility to customise asset distribution in case of divorce or death.

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