Prenup In Singapore: 5 Things To Know Before Tying The Knot

by 24 June 2024Knowledge & Insights

What is a marital prenup? In Singapore, a prenuptial agreement is commonly referred to as a “prenuptial deed” or “premarital agreement.” It is a legally binding contract that some couples can enter into before getting married to outline how their assets, finances, and other matters will be allocated and managed in case of a divorce or separation.

Prenups can help protect both spouses’ interests and provide clarity in case the marriage ends. This article tackles five important points couples should consider regarding prenuptial agreements.

1. Prenups And Postnups Are Not The Same

Prenuptial agreements (prenups) and postnuptial agreements (postnups) are legal documents that outline financial arrangements and terms between spouses, particularly in divorce or separation.

However, they differ in when they are created and the circumstances under which they are used.


  • Prenup: Prenuptial agreements are established and signed before a couple’s wedding, typically during the engagement period or well in advance of the marriage ceremony.
  • Postnup: Postnuptial agreements, on the other hand, are created and signed after the couple is already married.


  • Prenup: Prenups define the financial framework for a marriage before it begins. They clarify how assets, debts, and financial responsibilities are to be managed when the couple decides to divorce or separate.
  • Postnup: Postnuptial agreements serve a similar purpose to prenups but are meant for couples who are already married. They are used to establish or modify financial arrangements and address financial concerns or changes that arise within the marriage.

Common Use Cases

Prenuptial agreements are often used for:

  • Protecting individual assets acquired before marriage
  • Specifying how marital assets will be divided upon divorce or separation
  • Addressing spousal maintenance (alimony) terms
  • Defining financial roles and responsibilities during the marriage.
  • Safeguarding family inheritances or business interests

Postnuptial agreements are typically used in situations such as:

  • Responding to changing financial circumstances within the marriage
  • Resolving financial disputes or disagreements that arise during the marriage
  • Defining asset division terms after marriage, even if this was not previously addressed
  • Providing financial security for one or both spouses during the marriage, especially when there is a significant economic disparity


2. Getting A Prenup Is Beneficial To Both Parties

Prenuptial agreements can offer legal, financial, and emotional advantages for couples entering into marriage. Here are some of the key benefits of getting a prenup in Singapore:

Asset Protection

Prenups are a legal tool to protect individual assets, such as savings, investments, and real estate properties acquired before marriage. It also covers inheritances and gifts received during the marriage.

By specifying how the personal and marital assets will be divided among the parties, couples can ensure that their financial interests are safeguarded after their separation.

Clarity And Predictability

Prenuptial agreements provide a clear and predictable framework for handling financial matters during divorce proceedings. They outline the division of assets, debts, and liabilities, helping to reduce uncertainty and potential conflicts that often arise in divorce cases.

With a prenup in place, both spouses know what to expect, which can lead to a more amicable and efficient divorce process.

Financial Security

Prenups can address the issue of spousal maintenance (alimony) by specifying the terms under which one spouse may provide financial support to the other in case of divorce.

It ensures that the financially disadvantaged spouse is provided for, promoting financial security and stability for both parties post-divorce. It also prevents one spouse from being unfairly burdened with financial responsibilities.

Reduced Stress

A prenuptial agreement helps streamline the legal process, making it more efficient and less costly. By providing a clear roadmap for asset and property division and financial arrangements, prenups minimise the need for lengthy and emotionally draining legal battles. It can make the transition for both parties smoother as they navigate the challenges of divorce.


3. Prenuptial Agreements Must Meet Specific Requirements

In Singapore, prenuptial deeds are considered legally binding contracts and fall under the purview of contract law, which is primarily governed by common law principles.

To be valid and enforceable, a prenup must meet specific requirements:

Offer and Acceptance: A prenuptial contract, like any other contract, requires a reasonable offer and acceptance. One party typically proposes the terms of the agreement, and the other party must voluntarily agree to those terms.

Full Consent: Both parties must genuinely intend to create a legally binding written contract. This means that they must understand the legal consequences of the agreement and enter into it voluntarily without any form of duress, coercion, or fraud.

Legal Age: The parties entering into the prenuptial deed must have the legal capacity to do so. This generally means they must be of sound mind and of legal age.

Unconscionability/Fairness: Singapore Courts may scrutinise a prenup agreement’s fairness to both parties. It may not be enforced if an agreement is unconscionable, unjust, or oppressive. This can happen when there’s lack of disclosure about financial assets or one party is coerced into signing the agreement.

Full Disclosure: Both parties must provide complete and honest disclosure of their financial circumstances and assets when negotiating and entering into the agreement. It is essential to disclose all significant information, as failure to do so can result in the contract becoming void.

Independent Legal Advice: It is recommended to seek independent legal advice before signing the agreement. This ensures both parties fully understand the legal implications and consequences of the agreement. Their attorneys can also guide them through the process of drafting a legally sound agreement.

Public Policy: Prenups must not violate public policy or any applicable laws. For example, agreements that limit child support obligations or evade legal responsibilities may be deemed unenforceable.

Registration: While prenups in Singapore are not required to be registered, parties often keep a copy of the signed agreement for reference in case of future disputes.

Prenups in Singapore are not automatically valid and legally binding. Their enforceability may still be subject to legal scrutiny, especially if one party challenges the agreement in Court. The Court will consider the contract’s fairness, consent, disclosure of assets, the age and maturity of the couple when they signed the agreement and other relevant factors.


4. A Prenup Can Be Customised To The Couple’s Needs

Prenuptials are customisable legal documents allowing couples to outline their financial arrangements and terms in case of divorce or separation. A well-crafted prenuptial agreement promotes transparency, fairness, and financial security for both spouses, offering peace of mind for the future.

Here are some things to include in a prenuptial agreement:

  • List Of Assets And Debts: A detailed list of each spouse’s assets and liabilities, including bank accounts, investments, real estate, businesses, and personal property.
  • Asset Allocation: Specify how the couple’s matrimonial assets, including property, investments, and other possessions, will be divided upon divorce. The agreement can outline a predetermined distribution of assets, which may deviate from the default rules under the Women’s Charter Section 112.
    It’s worth noting that the Court has the final say when it comes to dividing assets in a divorce. Even if a couple has a prenuptial agreement, the Court may not always follow it. The decision will be based on the specific details of the case.
  • Preservation of Separate Property: Pre-marital agreements can protect assets acquired prior to marriage or through inheritance or gifts by explicitly stating that they remain the property of the spouse who owns them. This can prevent such assets from being considered matrimonial assets subject to division.
  • Terms And Amount Of Spousal Maintenance: The agreement should outline the terms and amount of spousal maintenance that one spouse will pay the other in the event of divorce. This allows couples to have control over this aspect of their financial arrangement.
  • Waiver of Spousal Maintenance: Pre-marital agreements may include provisions where one spouse waives their right to seek spousal maintenance in the event of divorce. This can provide financial predictability and may be especially relevant when one spouse has significantly greater financial resources.
  • Protection for the Dependent Spouse: Prenuptial deeds can ensure that the financially dependent spouse is provided for by including reasonable provisions for spousal maintenance. This helps avoid situations where a spouse is left financially vulnerable after divorce.


5. Prenups In Singapore Can Be Costly

The cost of creating a prenuptial agreement in Singapore can vary depending on various factors, including the complexity of the agreement, legal fees, and the choice of legal professionals involved. Here are some cost considerations to keep in mind when getting a prenup:

  • Legal Fees: Legal fees are The primary cost of a prenuptial agreement. You will need to hire a family law attorney or a legal professional experienced in drafting prenuptial deeds. The fees will vary and are usually based on the attorney’s experience and the complexity of the agreement. Expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand Singapore dollars for legal services.
  • Consultations: You may need to attend initial consultations with your attorney to discuss your specific needs, objectives, and concerns. These consultations may incur additional charges.
  • Review of Financial Disclosures: Prenups require full financial disclosure from both parties. If there are complex financial arrangements or a need for financial experts to review financial documents, additional costs may arise.
  • Notary Fees: Some agreements may require notarisation or witnessed by a notary public. Notary fees can add to the overall cost but are typically not substantial.
  • Additional Services: Additional legal fees may apply if you and your spouse require legal advice or revisions to the agreement after initial drafting.

Before starting the prenuptial agreement process, you should discuss fees and payment structures with your attorney or legal professional. Some attorneys may charge a flat fee for drafting a standard prenup, while others may charge an hourly rate, especially for more complex agreements.


Conclusion About Prenups In Singapore

Creating a marital prenuptial agreement is not a legal requirement. However, couples should seriously consider drafting one to establish financial clarity and protection before marriage, ensuring that both parties are on the same page regarding asset division, debt management, and spousal support in divorce or separation.

Prenups can prevent potential disputes and emotional turmoil during a challenging time, allowing couples to focus on their relationship instead of financial conflicts.
For those seeking assistance with prenuptial and postnuptial agreements or navigating divorce-related legal matters in Singapore, Tembusu Law is a trusted and experienced resource.

Our attorneys specialise in family law and can provide expert guidance and legal services to ensure that your prenuptial agreement is drafted in compliance with Singaporean law and tailored to your specific needs.

In times of divorce or separation, Tembusu Law can also offer comprehensive support and representation to help you navigate the legal complexities involved. Contact us today!


Frequently Asked Questions About Prenups In Singapore

What Happens When You Don’t Sign A Prenup?

Suppose a couple in Singapore skips signing a prenuptial agreement. In that case, the laws of Singapore, primarily under the Women’s Charter, will govern the division of assets and other matters related to divorce or separation.

Is Prenup Advisable For Every Couple In Singapore?

Whether or not to create a prenuptial agreement is a personal decision. Couples with significant assets, family businesses, or other specific financial concerns may find prenups particularly beneficial.

It is advisable to consult with legal professionals to determine if a prenuptial agreement aligns with your individual circumstances and needs.

Can A Prenup Address Child Custody And Support In Singapore?

While prenups primarily focus on financial matters between spouses, they can indirectly influence child-related issues. However, child custody and support matters are typically determined based on the best interests of the child at the time of divorce, and such arrangements may be addressed separately.

What Happens If My Spouse And I Disagree On The Terms Of The Prenuptial Agreement?

Disagreements can be addressed through negotiation and legal counsel. If you cannot reach an agreement, it may be challenging to proceed with the prenup. In such cases, seeking legal advice on your options is crucial.

About the author

About the author

Tembusu Law


We'll always make time for you. Tell us what's on your mind and we'll find a way to help.