Thinking of getting married but also want to protect your assets? You might want to consider a pre-nuptial agreement (or "pre-nup" in short).
So what exactly is a pre-nup?
A pre-nup is a contract that a couple enters into before their marriage. It sets out their positions in the event of a divorce:
a. How are the assets divided (ie whether asset ‘A’ belongs to person ‘A’)?
b. How much maintenance should the wife receive?
c. How much maintenance should the kids receive?
c. What is a feasible arrangement for the kids?
There are certain occasions where couples prefer to set out their financial obligations during or before the marriage.
Given its popularity, one would wonder if pre-nups are enforceable in the Family Justice Courts?
Well, they are not necessarily enforceable as the terms stated in the pre-nups are governed by the Women’s Charter and other legal principles.
Why do couples prefer to get a pre-nup?
A pre-nup can be useful in the event of a divorce. It gives the Judge an idea of parties’ intention leading up to the divorce. It also helps parties to resolve any issues quickly.
Further, when the marriage breaks down, parties tend to be overwhelmed by emotions. Having a pre-nup would assist couples to consider their positions before the marriage breaks down. It can help couples kickstart any discussions.
What do the Court consider where there is a pre-nup?
The Court will consider (ATZ v AUA  SGHC 161 at  and -):
1. Whether parties received independent legal advice before entering into a pre-nup;
2. Whether one party has misled the other by misrepresenting the value of assets.
If the Court is satisfied that the pre-nup is entered into fairly, then it is likely that it will give effect to the terms in the pre-nup.
How do I discuss with my partner about having a pre-nup?
It is important to have a candid conversation with your spouse (although everybody hopes to live happily ever after with his/her partner). A pre-nup will allow each party to have a better understanding of what to expect from each other following the wedding.
Most importantly, both parties should seek advice from their own lawyers to have a clear understanding of the legal implications. After all, the Courts tend to consider this a factor.
If you wish to find out more, do feel free to contact our lawyers here or at +65 6970 8287 for a consultation.