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What is a prenup?

A prenuptial agreement or antenuptial agreement, commonly abbreviated to prenup or prenupt, is a contract entered into by two people prior to marriage or civil union. The content of a prenuptial agreement can vary widely, but commonly includes provisions for the division of property should the couple divorce and any rights to spousal support during or after the dissolution of marriage.

There are two types of prenups: marriage contract for people who are married or about to be married, and cohabitation agreements for unmarried couples.

Laws around the world vary in their recognition of such agreements. In the past judges in the United States, for instance, generally frowned upon prenuptial agreements as corrupting what marriage was supposed to stand for, and often they would not recognize them. Nowadays prenuptial agreements are valid in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and they are actually quite common.

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