Prenuptial Agreement in the Philippines
Prenuptial agreement or otherwise known as “marriage settlements” under Family Code is a contract entered into by a man and a woman who are planning to get married. It is called “prenuptial” agreement because it must be executed before marriage and any modification or changes thereof shall be in writing and must be signed by the parties.
A prenuptial agreement takes precedence in the determination of the property relations between the husband and wife. It list down the properties of future spouses and outlines how assets and properties will be managed and distributed after marriage.
Pre-nuptial agreements are generally entered into not only by the famous and rich couples but also where there is a significant age disparity between the parties; difference between the wealth or indebtedness of the parties; and where one party has been married before and there is a desire to protect the children of the former marriage.
Like any other contract, the pre-nuptial agreement must be entered into voluntarily between the future spouses. It becomes binding between the husband and wife and cannot be changed while the marriage exist, except upon a petition filed in court to set aside the agreement in cases of judicial separation of property such as in case of abandonment of the spouse without just cause or failure to comply with his or her obligations to the family. The contract can be set aside on the grounds of lack of consent, fraud, coercion, mistake, undue influence or bad faith.
Prenuptial agreements must be regarded as a means to keep the parties together, not a convenient mechanism for division of property once the marriage is dissolved. Definitely, a lawyer is needed to ensure that all the terms embodied in the agreement will benefit the parties involved.
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