Prenuptial agreements are widely believed to be a (rather unromantic) means of protecting wealth -- or perhaps securing wealth -- from a spouse in the event of divorce, but these agreements get a bad rap. In fact, a well-drafted prenuptial agreement considers more than just the potential of divorce; rather, it sets forth the parties' mutual understanding as to how their affairs should be dealt with in a whole host of circumstances, for example, the sale or acquisition of a business or the death of a parent. Prenuptial agreements can also take on a testamentary function by setting forth the parties' agreement as to how assets should be distributed upon the death of either. Furthermore, in the event that the parties do divorce, a prenuptial agreement can streamline the divorce process and make it more efficient, eliminating the need for costly negotiations as the parties attempt to negotiate the terms of their separation.
Postnuptial agreements serve the same function as prenuptial agreements, but are entered into after the marriage. These agreements are commonly entered into when a life event occurs that requires a clear understanding between the spouses, such as a reconciliation.
Uncontested Divorce Proceedings
When both parties to the divorce consent to end the marriage and have agreed upon all issues relating to custody and equitable distribution, a divorce can be achieved without the need for a trial by the filing of uncontested divorce papers. These papers are complicated -- though less so because the parties are in agreement -- and must comply with the requirements of statutory law.