Rhode Island Prenuptial Agreement Form

Since prenuptial contracts outline potential divorce or death of either spouse-to-be, these papers preconceive a negative connotation in many people’s opinions. However, prenups are more than foreseeing possible unfavorable situations and do not evidence distrust. For more information, check our guide about the prenuptial agreement form.

Some time back, these documents used to be the privilege of the wealthy who needed to protect their assets and finances from devious partners’ unfair attempts. Today premarital contracts are designed to establish open-mindedness and a 100% disclosure of assets and debts.

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Rhode Island prenuptial agreement is dedicated to protecting both spouses in case of separation due to any undesirable circumstances, secure children’s common future and inheritance, and shield the partner from any liabilities and debts that existed before the wedding or civil union.

Do I Need to Create a Prenuptial Contract?

Rhode Island prenups outline preferences of how the spouses-to-be desire to distribute the benefits and responsibilities gained during the marriage and separate property assignment and estate planning. However, the documents are not limited to these purposes. Here are what the prenup covenants are also meant for:

  • Disclosure of premarital liabilities and debts and how these issues are solved after divorce, either spouse’s death, or other legal separation.
  • Statement of ownership rights for the assets acquired or inherited before marriage.
  • Life insurance policy if one spouse is deceased.
  • Inheritance policy to guard the family assets.
  • Adultery definition and penalties should either spouse cheat on the partner.
  • Alimony policy and spouse support policy

Rhode Island does not have a universal prenup template. Since the document is designed exclusively, potential spouses can list any preferred terms. Still, it is highly recommended that each partner invites an own family law attorney to avoid one-sided and unfair agreements. Also, professional legal assistance helps to maintain good balance and emotional comfort.

Rhode Island Prenup Laws and Requirements

Rhode Island enters the list of 27 states that have adopted the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act (UPAA). The respected document outlines common rules and regulations that are mandatory to follow when creating a prenuptial contract and resolving separation issues. Following the record, the court considers both the agreement terms and UPAA conditions before rendering a legal decision.

Rhode Island premarital and marital aspects are also regulated by § 15-17 (1-11), Title 15 (Domestic Relations) of the General Laws code. The section outlines definitions, formality aspects, the prenup agreement contents, enforceability, and restrictions. We advise you to follow the review and learn the fundamental requirements for drafting a prenuptial covenant in Rhode Island.

Signing Requirements

Under Section 15-17-2, Title 15 of the General Laws of Rhode Island, prospective spouses should negotiate the premarital agreement in a written manner and append their signatures. The paperwork becomes enforceable without consideration after marriage.

Should the spouses decide to make adjustments or terminate the agreement after their civil union is registered, they need to draft a separate amended contract in a written form and authorize their wish by signatures.

The prenuptial covenant acquires legitimacy upon marriage or civil unit registration.

Enforceability

Under UPAA and § 15-17-6 of the Rhode Island General Laws, all premarital covenants are enforceable without consideration. However, the document is deemed void and inapplicable should either party state and prove one of the following aspects:

  • One of the spouses-to-be was forced to sign the contract or authorized the paper involuntarily.
  • The prenuptial covenant is one-sided or unfair towards the other party. This aspect includes unfair disclosure of debts, property, and financial situation by one of the parties. The contract is also regarded as unconscionable if either partner was deprived of having sufficient knowledge regarding the terms of the agreement, assets, and monetary obligations of the other party.

The injured party needs to provide sufficient and clear proof to claim the prenup invalid by the Rhode Island courts.

Court Refusal

Following § 15-17-6, the court will refuse to claim the premarital agreement valid if the enforceability conditions are violated and the dishonor is evidenced. The Rhode Island court will also refuse to accept the agreement if the document eliminates the spousal support.

The UPAA and § 15-17-3(b) contain regulations that provide for childcare independence from the premarital agreement and claim that this legal right belongs to the child. Any arrangements regarding child custody, visitations, and guardianship are declined by the Rhode Island court to serve the best interests of the child, not the prospective parents.

What Prenups Can Cover

Rhode Island premarital agreements are exclusive, and the spouses-to-be can negotiate upon any preferable terms in these contracts. Section 15-17-3 of the General Laws of Rhode Island embraces the most solicited aspects that prenups can cover:

  • The benefits and responsibilities regarding the property and monetary assets
  • How to manage separate and community assets, estate, and financial accounts
  • Spousal support terms
  • Selection of Jurisdiction to regulate the prenup contract
  • Other aspects

Property Type

Rhode Island laws do not provide mandatory requirements to separate and community property, so the spouses-to-be can negotiate the terms.

seal of rhode island state

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Check out our document tool to customize any template available on our website to your preferences. Here’s a list of some other popular Rhode Island forms we provide.

Published: Feb 25, 2021