Getting a Pre-Nuptial Agreement in Singapore

You get married for life, right? What is yours is mine, and what’s mine is yours, and ‘til death do us part? Well, if you have your own wealth, or your spouse does, it may be a good idea to get a prenuptial agreement so that you and your spouse can protect your wealth. In the event that you decide to end your marriage, a prenuptial agreement can protect your assets and help ensure as secure of a financial future for you as possible.

Before you get a prenup, consider how much you or your spouse have in assets. If either of you are owners of family businesses, properties, or heirlooms, a prenup may be in order. A prenup usually enables you to keep ownership of your assets if you divorce. If you make less than $100,000 per year, you probably don’t need a prenup, but you might want to get one if you have over $200,000 per year in assets. Even if you make less than the $100,000 point per year, you can protect yourself from being responsible for any debt your partner has. Creditors may try to get marital property even after a divorce is finalized. The prenup can say that you both agree not to be liable for each other’s debts both during marriage and in the case of divorce.

If one partner is much wealthier than the other, it may be a good idea to have a prenup that will spell out the division of property and spousal maintenance in the event of divorce.

In the case of second or subsequent marriages, a spouse may want a prenup to protect themselves because they experienced a less-than-cordial parting from their last spouse. Additionally, they may want to protect their children from previous marriages. The prenup will establish what the new spouse must do or not do regarding caring for their stepchildren.

Specifically, it can lay out what assets will be given to children from previous marriages, but it’s still important that a will is written to help ensure that these provisions are legal. Additionally, if a spouse pays child support from a previous marriage, and the new marriage results in divorce, a prenup can ensure that these children still are supported.

In the event of a divorce, you will probably find that a prenuptial agreement can speed up divorce proceedings greatly and cut down on the cost of legal fees. If a couple has made an agreement on the splitting of their assets before the marriage, the court can use that as a reference point on the division of property during the divorce.

Prenup agreements are not as common in Singapore in part because they are not as strictly enforced as they are in some other countries. The courts in Singapore will look at each case individually. The court is the ultimate decider of the division of matrimonial property in Singapore, not the prenup. The courts also consider any debt of either spouse, their individual contributions to the family’s welfare, and the best interests of children involved in the case. The court derives its authority to have the final say regarding the division of matrimonial property from the Women’s Charter.
If a prenup relates to the care of children, it is assumed that the agreement isn’t enforceable unless the person relying on the agreement shows unequivocally that the agreement is in the best interests of the children.

If a prenuptial agreement is made in another country, such as in the case of a marriage between someone from Singapore and another country or between two ex-patriates residing in Singapore, the court is more likely to uphold the prenup agreement’s provisions.

Should you decide to get a prenup, make sure you and your future spouse disclose completely all of your financial assets and speak with a qualified lawyer. Sign the prenup about a month or more before the wedding to show the court in the future that no one’s rights were compromised because of emotion or ignorance. Getting a prenup can protect the individuals in a marriage for a variety of reasons. Getting a prenup may be the best and most mature thing you can do to protect yourself.