Prenups or Prenuptial agreements are contracts signed before the wedding. It is a widespread concept followed abroad but not warmly welcomed in India. For a country like India, which is rich in culture and warmth of love which they share in relationships, this sounds like an Alien concept.
In our nation, marriage is a religious alliance of man and a woman for their entire life, so having a contract between them with specific terms and conditions is strange. Under the Indian Contract Act, 1872, a prenuptial agreement is legally not valid under the Hindu Marriage Act in India.
But, there are some critical points to know about the wedding contract in India if you consider it for your marriage.
Currently, in India, there is no specific law governing a wedding contract. As discussed above, the legal system of India doesn’t yet recognize prenups as legal agreements. There are four principal points to consider about such a treaty in India-
- The law of contracts governs prenups, and no marital laws are for it. They require the same conditions, just like any other contract under Section-10 of the Indian Contracts Act, 1872.
- The different view is that prenuptial agreements are against public policy and hence nil under Section- 23 of the Indian Contract Act.
- Some consider prenups as only a memorandum of understanding or just for the formality to be done and not as strict binding on the parties.
- A wedding contract can be termed as lawful if the marriage is solemnized under the Special Marriage Act, and submitted along with other documents to the registrar.
Apart from the debate on the legal validity of prenups in India, it emphasizes the emotional feasibility offered by such pledge.
Modern wedding contracts in India can be seen as a sign of mistrust or lack of commitments among the people. Still, they help to solve a lot of matters regarding financial, child, divorce, and property issues.
Also, if you opt for a wedding contract to be signed, it should contain the following clauses:
- Disclosure of assets and liabilities
- Fiscal or monetary position of both parties.
- Real estate properties
- Shared properties
- Separate properties
- Alimony or maintenance
- Child custody & maintenance
- Life insurance, Medical insurance, and claims
- Management of individual bank accounts and joint accounts.
- Management of household expenses, bills, rent, loans, etc.
- Gifts in the form of jewelry, engagement rings, gold, or any other expensive articles.
Though prenups cannot be legally enforced, as they only indicate the intent of the parties, and the court while pronouncing judgments. So before signing such a protocol, do consider the direction and action of it.