Nevada’s legal definition of premarital agreement is “an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective upon marriage.” For a premarital agreement to be enforceable, it must be in writing and signed by both spouses prior to the wedding.
Couples most commonly use a prenup when one or both parties already have:
- Children, or
- Significant assets they wish to keep separate.
To help you better understand Nevada’s laws on prenuptial agreements, our Las Vegas family law attorneys address:
- 1. What law governs Nevada premarital agreements?
- 2. How do I enter into a prenuptial agreement?
- 3. When does my prenuptial agreement go into effect?
- 4. What terms can a prenuptial agreement contain in Nevada?
- 5. What terms are not allowed in a premarital agreement?
- 6. Can I modify or revoke a prenuptial agreement in Nevada?
- 7. Do I need a prenup if I am entering a domestic partnership?
- 8. When should I use a lawyer to negotiate my prenup in Las Vegas?
1. What law governs Nevada premarital agreements?
Chapter 123 of the Nevada Revised Statutes sets forth Nevada’s Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPPA). It sets forth the conditions and restrictions on prenuptial agreements.
2. How do I enter into a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties.1 Courts will not enforce
- oral premarital agreements or
- agreements only one party has signed.
Sometimes, if both parties have not signed a prenup, a court may find that a verbal cohabitation agreement exists. Cohabitation agreements are contracts between unmarried people who live together. They do not need to be in writing.
Prenups do not need witnesses or notarization, though it is still a good idea.
3. When does my prenuptial agreement go into effect?
A prenuptial agreement becomes effective upon the marriage of the parties.2 If a court later voids the marriage, the prenup will usually also be void.3
4. What terms can a prenuptial agreement contain in Nevada?
There are limitations to the terms a prenup may contain. Most commonly, terms of a prenuptial agreement in Las Vegas include:
- The rights and obligations of each spouse to property either spouse owns,
- The right to buy, use, sell, transfer and control property,
- The ownership of property upon separation, divorce, death, or any other event,
- The elimination or modification of alimony or spousal support,
- The making of a will or trust to carry out the goals of the prenuptial agreement,
- How to divide property that has been commingled,
- Rights to insurance policy death benefits,
- What assets are considered separate property or community property,
- Which state’s laws govern the agreement,
- Pet custody following a Nevada divorce, and
- Any other term that does not violate public policy or the law.4
5. What terms are not allowed in a premarital agreement?
Couples have significant discretion regarding how to distribute their assets if they divorce.
Though a Nevada prenuptial agreement cannot negatively affect a child’s right to child support.5 Courts will always look to the best interests of the child in Nevada (NRS 125C.0035) when determining support.
Additionally, a court may find a prenuptial agreement unenforceable in Nevada if:
- The agreement was unconscionable when the couple entered into the agreement,
- The spouse seeking the prenuptial agreement failed to disclose their property and financial obligations in a fair and reasonable manner,
- The agreement was not entered into voluntarily, or
- The agreement eliminates or modifies spousal support or alimony to the extent that the spouse becomes eligible for public assistance.6
6. Can I modify or revoke a prenuptial agreement in Nevada?
Once a prenuptial agreement has been entered into, it can only be modified or revoked by a written agreement signed by both spouses. Oral amendments do not count.7
7. Do I need a prenup if I am entering a domestic partnership?
Nevada domestic partnerships confer most of the same rights as marriage. Accordingly, an agreement arranging for the disposition of property rights in the event of the dissolution of a domestic partnership may be a good idea.
Your Las Vegas family law lawyer can help you decide whether a written agreement in advance of a domestic partnership makes sense.
8. When should I use a lawyer to negotiate my prenup in Las Vegas?
Prenuptial agreements serve to modify a spouse’s rights under Nevada’s community property laws – often significantly. An ambiguous or seemingly unfair premarital agreement can also be subject to attack by a couple’s children or creditors.
Unless you are very business-savvy and your agreement is very simple, it is advisable to consult with an attorney before entering into a Nevada prenuptial agreement.
An experienced Las Vegas marriage lawyer in your practice area will make sure the agreement is fair and adequately protects your interests.
Considering a prenup in Las Vegas? Call us for help…
If you are getting married in Nevada and are considering a premarital agreement, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation.
Our caring Las Vegas family lawyers have considerable experience in protecting a prospective spouse’s assets. We can also help if your premarital agreement is being challenged or if you feel your prenup was unfair.
- NRS 123A.040.
- NRS 123A.060.
- NRS 123A.090.
- NRS 123A.050 (1). See, for example, Sullivan v. Sullivan (Nevada Court of Appeals, 2021) 481 P.3d 238.
- NRS 123A.050 (2).
- NRS 123A.080. See, for example, Fick v. Fick (1993) 109 Nev. 458 (“Although Bernice voluntarily signed the agreement, had an opportunity to consult with legal counsel, was not coerced and possessed the acumen to understand the transaction, we hold that the agreement is unenforceable because Robert did not fully disclose his assets and obligations before Bernice signed it.“).
- NRS 123A.070.