Among the various clients I have had, wealthy families generally want to put in place protective measures to ensure that the wealth through blood stays with their loved ones, their children, their grandchildren and the children of their grandchildren. Imagine a situation in which a son or daughter, to whom the family patrimony has been entrusted, marries. If the son or daughter were to have an untimely death (without marital agreement, the wealthy family could suddenly find itself in a situation where its wealth is now largely transferred – if not entirely – to the unrelated surviving husband. From the word itself, a prenup must be made before the marriage. The parties must not carry out preliminary work after the marriage, so any changes to the property regime of the spouses can only be made with the permission of a judge. A matrimonial agreement is in fact a contract between the future spouses that governs and determines the rights and obligations of the parties concerning all real estate, including future real estate to be acquired, which will be brought to the marriage by each party. Therefore, since due diligence is a contract, the conditions for the validity of the contracts should also be met. Marital agreements must be concluded on a voluntary basis. They should be written down. They may be sidelined because of a lack of consent, fraud, coercion, error, inappropriate influence or bad faith. To be effective against third parties, they must be certified notarized and registered in the correct registers of real estate for the protection of creditors and at the local registry office where the marriage is concluded.
Future spouses may choose that their marriage be governed by the regime of absolute co-ownership, the marital partnership of benefits, the total separation of the property or another scheme, provided they are agreed and concluded effectively. In this situation, a marriage agreement could benefit not only spouses, but also legitimate and illegitimate children. A well-designed prenup could allow the spouse concerned to treat his children in the same way at the beginning of a later marriage. Marital agreements must be concluded on a voluntary basis. They should be written down. They may be sidelined because of a lack of consent, fraud, coercion, error, inappropriate influence or bad faith. To be effective against third parties, they must be notarized and registered in the civil register of creditor protection and at the local town hall. In 2010, a celebrity admitted that she regretted not having entered into a marital agreement with her ex-husband. Three years later, she was still paying millions for financial compensation with him. She is not alone. Many Filipinos would not have considered signing a marriage agreement.
But with the increase in nullity/nullity and separation rates, we are taking a closer look at why we might need “prenups,” how we make one, and how much it would cost. (For a simple reference, I refer below to the annulment and nullity of the marriage and the separation of the marriage as a “divorce.”) In such a case, a marriage could certainly protect the innocent spouse from unwarranted exposure, having to pay personal debts or expenses of the other spouse.