Important provisions in a prenup

A prenuptial agreement allows key issues such as the equalization of accrued gains, pension rights adjustment, and alimony to be settled upfront, thus reducing the likelihood of disputes arising in the event of a divorce.

And yet prenups are a touchy subject in a lot of relationships, with many a happy couple viewing them as a clear sign of mistrust. But this view does a disservice to prenuptial agreements, which allow important points to be resolved amicably that have the potential to give rise to legal disputes in the event of a divorce, including the equalization of accrued gains, pension rights adjustment, and alimony. These issues can be dealt with in a harmonious atmosphere with a prenup. We at the commercial law firm MTR Rechtsanwälte also note that prenuptial agreements are a key component of wealth protection.

In the absence of such an agreement, married couples automatically find themselves under the matrimonial property regime known as the community of accrued gains, which provides for the separation of property for the duration of the marriage and the equalization of gains accrued during the marriage once the property regime has ended. If one spouse accrues more than the other during the marriage, the latter is generally entitled to half of the accrued gains in the event of a divorce. It should be noted, however, that the equalization of accrued gains does not occur automatically; it is necessary for a claim to be asserted to this end.

This type of arrangement is often no longer appropriate if both spouses have worked. It can even have concerning consequences for businesses, especially in the case of self-employed individuals and entrepreneurs. This can be avoided by setting out alternative arrangements in a prenuptial agreement that protect the interests of both partners.

Another important issue is pension rights adjustment, which concerns any pension entitlements acquired during the marriage. It is particularly relevant if one partner has remained at home for a number of years or has only worked part time in order to take care of the children, while the other worked full time and in doing so built up significantly greater pension entitlements. Pension rights adjustment entails a 50/50 split of these acquired entitlements. A prenuptial agreement, on the other hand, allows for alternative arrangements.

Aside from a prenup, an agreement on the consequences of divorce is another means of making arrangements for the material legal implications of divorce.

Lawyers versed in family law can advise on prenuptial agreements and divorce.