A prenuptial agreement is a contract executed between two people before getting married. Usually these agreements outline how money and property acquired during the marriage will be classified (i.e. as joint property or the separate property of each spouse) and identify the property each spouse is bringing into the marriage. Although often discussed in the context of divorce, a prenuptial agreement can also outline the responsibilities and rights of each spouse during the marriage.
In Indiana, prenuptial agreements are called "premarital agreements." These types of contracts are defined by Indiana law as an agreement "executed in contemplation of marriage and becomes effective upon marriage." In order to be valid, a premarital agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties; however, unlike other contracts, there is no requirement that there be consideration.
Overview of Indiana Prenuptial Agreement Laws
It's important to read the actual statutes, but statutory language can be difficult to understand for most people since it's written in legal jargon. For this reason, it can be helpful to read an overview of the statutes as well. In the following table, you can find an overview of prenuptial agreement laws in Indiana and links to relevant statutes.
Indiana Code, Title 31, Article 11, Chapter 3, Section 31-11-3-1, et seq. (Uniform Premarital Agreement Act)
|What Can a Premarital Agreement in Indiana Contain?
A premarital agreement can address a variety of matters including:
- The rights and obligations of each party when it comes to separate and marital property;
- The right to manage and control property;
- The disposition of property upon divorce, legal separation, death, or the occurrence (or nonoccurrence) of any other event;
- The modification or elimination of spousal support;
- The making of a will, trust, or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement;
- The ownership rights in a death benefit from a life insurance policy;
- The choice of law governing the construction of the agreement; and
- Any other matter that isn't in violation of public policy or criminal law, including the personal rights and obligations of the parties.
|When is an Indiana Prenuptial Agreement Unenforceable?
A premarital agreement is unenforceable if a party can prove that:
- They didn't execute it voluntarily; or
- The agreement was unconscionable when it was executed.
Additionally, if there's a provision in the premarital agreement that modifies or eliminates spousal support and that would cause extreme hardship under circumstances that weren't reasonably foreseeable at the time the agreement was executed, a court may require the payment of spousal support despite the provision.
Indiana Code, Title 31:
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Indiana Prenuptial Agreement Laws: Related Resources
For additional information and resources related to this topic, please visit the links listed below.
Learn How Indiana Prenuptial Agreement Laws Apply to You: Speak to a Lawyer
While prenuptial agreements can cover a variety of matters, the best way to ensure that's valid and enforceable is to consult with a legal professional before executing it. If you're interested in drafting or reviewing an Indiana prenuptial agreement, it's best to speak with an experienced family law attorney in the state.