Getting married is an important decision for many reasons, one of which being that it's essentially a legal contract that you enter with your partner. Marriage gives each spouse certain rights as well as certain responsibilities, particularly when it comes to ownership and control of property. That's why it's important to understand how your rights will be affected once you're married. One way to have more control over your respective property rights, as well as other rights afforded through marriage, is through a prenuptial agreement.
In Minnesota, prenuptial agreements are called "antenuptial contracts" in the state's statutes. Minnesota's prenuptial agreement laws don't specifically spell out everything that can and can't be included in a prenup. Generally speaking, however, as long as a provision isn't against public policy, it can be included.
Postnuptial Contracts in Minnesota
It's important to note that Minnesota's laws governing antenuptial contracts also address "postnuptial contracts," which are similar to prenuptial agreements, but are entered into after the spouses have already married. In fact, a prenuptial agreement can only be revoked or amended by a valid postnuptial contract.
A postnuptial agreement can't include provisions that relate to child support, child custody, or parenting time. Also, a postnuptial contract is presumed to be unenforceable if either spouse commences legal separation or dissolution proceedings within two years of the contract's execution. One exception to this rule is if the spouse seeking enforcement can prove that the contract is fair and equitable.
Minnesota Prenuptial Agreements: The Basics
It's always important to read the actual text of a statute when you have a legal question. However, to better understand a statute, it can be helpful to first read an overview of the law in plain English. In the table that follows, you can find an overview of prenuptial agreements in Minnesota as well as links to relevant statute(s).
Minnesota Statutes, Domestic Relations (Ch. 517-519A), Chapter 519, Section 519.11 (Antenuptial and Postnuptial Contracts)
|Requirements for Prenuptial Agreements
Prenuptial agreements must be:
- in writing;
- signed in the presence of two witnesses and a notary; and
- entered into prior to the solemnization of the marriage.
|When is a Prenuptial Agreement Valid and Enforceable?
A prenuptial agreement is valid and enforceable in Minnesota if each party fully and fairly discloses all of their earnings and property and they've each had the opportunity to consult with their own attorney.
Minnesota Statutes, Domestic Relations (Ch. 517-519A), Chapter 519, Section 519.01, et seq. (Married Persons; Rights, Privileges)
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.
Minnesota Prenuptial Agreements: Related Resources
For additional information and resources related to this topic, please visit the links listed below.
Get Legal Help with Your Prenuptial Agreement in Minnesota
In order for a prenuptial agreement to be valid and enforceable, you must make sure it complies with all of the laws that apply. So, if you're thinking about drafting or entering into a prenuptial agreement, it's best to consult with a local family law attorney who can ensure that it complies with Minnesota prenuptial agreement laws.