According to the latest statistics, nearly 24,000 couples get a divorce in Tennessee every year. No one wants to think about divorce when they are looking forward to getting married — however, in some cases, it’s wise for both parties to plan ahead in the event that the marriage doesn’t work out down the road.

Prenuptial agreements are often viewed as entering a marriage with the belief that it will fail. However, most of the time that is not the intention. Protection for both spouses is a decision that makes sense for everyone involved. Having a marital agreement in place can help make both uniting and dividing a little easier.

At the Law Offices of Fisher Wise, I am proud to work with couples in Chattanooga and the surrounding counties in Tennessee to outline well-crafted prenuptial and postnuptial agreements that will protect them and their spouse in the event that marriage fails.

Marital Agreements in Tennessee

Marital agreements address the rights and responsibilities of couples during the marriage, and how assets, liabilities, and other property might be divided if the marriage ends.

As implied by their titles, a prenuptial agreement is entered into by a couple before they are legally married, which means before they obtain and sign their marriage license. A postnuptial agreement is drafted and signed after the couple has already wed. While specific agreements are unique, there are some common provisions, including:

  • Identification of property (and debt) acquired by one spouse prior to the marriage as the separate property

  • An understanding of each spouse's rights and responsibilities regarding property during the marriage

  • The distribution of property in the event of a divorce or the death of a spouse

  • Protection for any child from previous relationships, including estate planning protections.



Who Should Get a Marital Agreement?

Many believe marital agreements only protect the assets of a wealthy spouse from the other, less wealthy spouse. Others believe that marital agreements are entered into because one or both of the parties believe that the failure of the marriage is inevitable. Another myth is that prenuptial and postnuptial agreements harm the less wealthy spouse.

The truth is that well-crafted marital agreements can protect both parties, regardless of wealth or status. An agreement can obligate a wealthier spouse to not leave a poorer spouse “high and dry” in a divorce. It can also help wealthier spouses protect certain assets when agreeing on divorce terms. If the union is a second marriage, it can also help ensure the legacies of any children from previous relationships.

In truth, couples should consider a marital agreement in several instances, including when one party is considerably wealthier than the other. Other issues include, but are not limited to, when one or both spouse:

  • Enters a marriage with considerable debt

  • Owns valuable property, businesses, or other assets

  • Has been married before

  • Has any children from prior relationships

The Truth About Prenuptial
& Postnuptial Agreements

In addition to protecting each spouse’s interests, marital agreements provide each party with a legally binding contract that sets expectations that will make dissolving the marriage smoother and less stressful, should it ever come to that.

Prenuptial agreements require that each party fully disclose all assets and debts. That knowledge is often vital when couples begin to have conversations about their priorities and expectations for the marriage. Once married, marital agreements can also protect both parties when emotions, family, finances, and other marital aspects change over the course of time.

How Easy Is It to Enforce
a Marital Agreement?

Tennessee law specifically addresses the enforceability of marital agreements. The court will enforce prenuptial and postnuptial agreements if they appear “to have been entered into by such spouses freely, knowledgeably and in good faith and without exertion of duress or undue influence upon either spouse.

If the court finds this to be true, the agreement will be binding and the provisions will be enforced, as is with any other lawful contract.

Hire an Experienced Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreement Attorney in Chattanooga, TN

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are not harbingers of a failed marriage. They are designed to protect the interests of both parties in the event that the marriage does not last. That’s why it is important to consult your own family law attorney to ask questions, get answers, and draft an agreement that can protect both you and your spouse in the event that divorce ever occurs.


At the Law Offices of Fisher Wise, I have spent over a decade working with couples in Chattanooga, Red Bank, East Ridge, Soddy-Daisy, in matters related to prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Whether you live in Hamilton County, Bradley County, Marion County, Sequatchie County, Bledsoe County, Rhea County, or Meigs County, Tennessee, I’m proud to do all that I can to help you protect yourself in the event that things don’t work out in your marriage. My top priority is to help provide some peace of mind for you and your spouse knowing that your futures are protected, no matter what. If you or someone you know is planning to get married, or have already entered into marriage, and are considering a marital agreement, call my office today to schedule a case evaluation. I’ll be happy to do all that I can to help meet your needs.