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Standard Prenuptial Agreement

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 8:19 pm Thu 25th February 2010

Craig writes:

I’m looking for a standard form prenuptual agreement.
One that I can fill in two names and a date, after reviewing the wording.

I’ve never heard of one, Craig.

I would imagine that they usually contain details of specific assets which are intended to be excluded from jointly owned Relationship Property.

I’m not an expert though, so I’m making your request public in the hope that other men will add useful information.

Be aware that some men do not consider prenuptial agreements worth the paper they are written on.

I know of at least one case where a judge took one look at agreement that had cost over $5,000 in legal fees to draft, said “that’s not fair”, and proceeded to carve up the assets according to her ideas about who should benefit most from the situation. As far as I know, there have not yet been enough appeals to set sensible precedents with this relatively new legislation.

I’d appreciate hearing about how you eventually proceed.


  1. As far as I know, it takes just one party to change their mind about the agreement to make it null and void. It has no ‘standing’ in Law. Even if both agree on parting to what was agreed at the start, the Judge can still reject it.

    Comment by amfortas — Thu 25th February 2010 @ 9:12 pm

  2. Pre-nuptial agreements are quite a good idea. Like all types of “agreement” they are only as reliable and good as the mechanism that you would “use” to enforce it!

    (Or is that mechanism “using” you!?)

    Oh, we are back to the familycaught again. Well, some of the “judges” are quite erratic and variable in their application of statute law, just machines well out of adjustment. No, I am not just pointing at some of the women “judges”, as some of the men are every bit as menopausal…

    Thus you will need to have a spare little stash of cash, sufficient to support a highcaught appeal as well and possibly a caughtofappeal appeal too. Given all that, prenuptials can be an effective mechanism, as long as your spare stash isn’t already public knowledge, as it may have been divided before you could use it…

    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Thu 25th February 2010 @ 10:29 pm

  3. Relationship property law as we have it suits very few people except those who stand to gain a lot by plundering a partner’s pre-relationship wealth. Those people wanting a fair, morally tolerable arrangement are obliged to pay lawyers in an effort to contract themselves out of the current law. This suggests that the current law is not suiting the vast majority of the population. The current law is immoral, unfair and unsuitable. In my view the goal of the current law, like so many other laws in the feminist era, is mainly to transfer wealth earned by men into the control of women.

    In my experience when women have more assets than their male partner, those women will almost always insist on a prenuptual agreement. Men however are much less likely to insist on any agreement to protect their assets. I would like someone to research this to establish how big this imbalance actually is, or maybe someone could find some funding to enable me to do that research. The imbalance may be related to the unequal sexual power between the genders; women are the limited resource in the reproductive biological stakes, men tend to compete for women and women tend to discard and choose.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Fri 26th February 2010 @ 8:09 am

  4. Reply to Hans

    Awesome post Hans…And on the whole,I do concur with you….However I will just give my humble views on the following comment you made below……

    ‘men tend to compete for women and women tend to discard and choose.’

    My young Adult Son best friend made a very interesting comment to me last weekend……He and a lot his Mates,they don’t seem so called bothered to complete for Kiwi Woman anymore,they have enough of their ‘Prima donna’ attitude of ‘I am madam princess,so bow down to me’ …
    Also I am noticing more and more of decent and intellectual young Kiwi Men,as in I am seeing and meeting,especially at my Gym,there Lady partners/Girlfriends are from overseas countries …e.g Asia,India,Africa and Eastern European.

    Kind regards to you Hans…John Dutchie

    Comment by John Dutchie — Fri 26th February 2010 @ 9:00 am

  5. CAB has a reasonable fact shee that will help.

    Comment by Scrap_The_CSa — Fri 26th February 2010 @ 10:46 am

  6. Sad that men now beleive that they are the commodity. This is not the case in many natural heirachies and is not the historical case for human kind. Men need to be aware of thier own value. How far have we fallen?

    Comment by Scott — Fri 26th February 2010 @ 9:48 pm

  7. To avoid challenges to pre-nups,

    i would like to say that they should be arranged more than 1 month BEFORE the wedding to avoid her saying that she was COERCED into signing it, and even better would be to video her signing it to show that she was doing it willingly. As we already know from experience, spiteful women will just challenge the pre-nups simply to increase YOUR legal bill, and of course they have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.
    If a women REFUSES to sign one, this is a very bad sign indeed, one day she may screw you. Both side should have DIFFERENT solicitors , and normally the man pays for both legal fees.
    In NZ, you must NEVER mix your personal assets with the “Family” assets, keep them separate ! The family home is the weak point for the man, only “joint” income should be used to purchase the house.

    But apart from all this, the best way to avoid all this is to pick a GOOD woman, ask your friends and family, what they think of her, Paul McCartney’s daughter,Stella, told him many times that Heather Mills would not be a good wife, but he ignored his daughter !

    Comment by martins — Sat 27th February 2010 @ 1:28 am

  8. Thanks
    Surely some agreement is better than none !
    I was hoping to hear it would be valid if no coercion/misunderstanding, date proofed, and not unreasonable ??

    Comment by Craig — Tue 2nd March 2010 @ 11:51 pm

  9. More encouraging !
    Seems a pre-nup is better than nothing
    And avoid courts at all costs !
    I am an expatriate NZer, not resident anywhere for more than 175 days, assets recently inheirited in NZ
    Can the pre-nup be under the jurisdiction of another country where the laws are more attuned to the agreement ?
    What country is fairest ?
    Thks Craig

    Comment by Craig — Wed 3rd March 2010 @ 12:14 am

  10. Now this attachment is really useful !
    I have seen this girl for three out of the last six years – at the most we lived together continuously for not than five months in two perhaps three of those years.
    So I need to clarify some points – and will use this resource.
    Good advise.

    Comment by Craig — Wed 3rd March 2010 @ 12:27 am

  11. Got it

    Thanks for the advice.
    Which I can follow – possibly I dont agree with asking friends and family – I need something a little more independent.
    Which you and others have provided

    Comment by Craig — Wed 3rd March 2010 @ 12:37 am

  12. hhmmmmm prenups…

    let’s think about this shall we?

    In Fem Zealand if you live with a partner for 2 years, you are deemed to be basically married and when you split up you can lose half or more of your stuff.

    If married with no prenup you could lose half or damn near all of your stuff and still be paying money to your ex.

    If you weren’t married and weren’t living together and you have a kid/kids and you split up, you end up paying the ex tons of money and usually end up losing a lot of your stuff as a result.

    Not to mention protection orders, where no evidence is needed… lose all of your stuff and pay your ex who wrongly accused you. (if wrongly accused, but let’s for arguments sake say that’s the case!)

    And of course the family court and cyfs who will stop you seeing your kids.

    Still think a prenup is worth it? Save time and money… while you can.

    Comment by Scott B — Tue 9th March 2010 @ 11:38 pm

  13. i would like to say that they should be arranged more than 1 month BEFORE the wedding to avoid her saying that she was COERCED into signing it, and even better would be to video her signing it to show that she was doing it willingly.

    haha nope, won’t work. A victim is victim, no matter how long it has been. That’s the line they’ll take. Plus you better film it from multiple angles or she’ll say that someone was threatening her off camera! No way to win.

    Comment by Scott B — Tue 9th March 2010 @ 11:40 pm

  14. Keep in mind that anything you own, if used in any way whatsoever in relation to the relationship or family, instantly becomes relationship property. Long ago I remember a case in which a woman separated from her child’s father who was about 30. As a teenager he had purchased an old MG sports car and spent years of weekends restoring it, working after school to fund this. Because he later used this car occasionally to get to work (while his regular car was being repaired) in order to earn money to support his wife and child, the car was deemed to be matrimonial property. Sadly for him the car had become a very valuable collectors item by then and he could not come up with the many thousands of dollars required to repurchase his own car from his ex, so it had to be sold. Ridiculous? Of course, but the definition of relationship property is pretty much the same now. A family heirloom will suddenly become your partner’s property because it was once displayed in your home for a family reunion. A bach handed down to you through generations will suddenly be owned by your wife because you once took her there to stay for a night. It’s very difficult to protect oneself from femi-socialist plunder.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Wed 10th March 2010 @ 7:46 am

  15. Hey everyone

    I’m getting married to a woman I love, in November.
    I have no intention of leaving her, and she feels the same, ‘for now…’
    That said I’m not stupid enough to believe in fairy tails, I have 8 hard slogged years of superannuation and I would like to with her agreement (already gained),protect my super as of the date we marry, after that all is equal split until 5 years of marriage, or birth of “my child” (should that happen) then I am happy to share the wealth earnt prior to meeting/marrying her.

    How best do I do this? I have already been right and royally shafted my lawyers in the past.


    Wanting to be fair, but ‘Confused’

    Comment by Confused — Sun 19th September 2010 @ 12:03 am

  16. A prologue to the above…. she already has an 8 year old (9 year old when we marry)
    child to another man, who has primary custody, does this affect me financially?

    Comment by Confused — Sun 19th September 2010 @ 12:08 am

  17. Please throw your advise here freely, as I’m sure I’m not the only man here wondering on these matters

    Comment by Confused — Sun 19th September 2010 @ 12:09 am

  18. DON’T

    Comment by Skeptik — Sun 19th September 2010 @ 1:53 pm

  19. I don’t think its been said here, but a pre-nup – an “Opting Out Agreement” – is valid if both parties agree AND both both take independent legal counsel before signing it. Yes, any judge can strike out an Opting Out agreement if it is harsh, coerced etc. It can, f course, only cover sperate property prior to the date of cohabitation or marriage. If you continue contributing, for example, into a Super Fund after marriage, then it will be probably subject to later challenge.

    Inheritences are deemed seperate property SO LONG AS you keep it seperate. If you, for example, use it to buy your family home that you both share, it becomes relationship property.

    Think very carefully before ‘assigning’ personal property covered by any Opting Out Agreement after say even 5 years. Your relationship might end a day later!

    This is not formal legal advice. Check with your own Relationsip Law lawyer before proceeding.

    Comment by Phoenix — Sun 19th September 2010 @ 6:43 pm

  20. Please note: The comment above was NOT posted by me. But by someone who HAS DECIDED TO USE THE SAME log in name. This person to my knowledge has NOT written any articles for this website. It should be clear from their writing style that this is NOT THE SAME PERSON.


    Comment by Phoenix — Tue 21st September 2010 @ 9:33 am

  21. OK!

    Comment by Phoenix2 — Wed 22nd September 2010 @ 8:42 pm

  22. Properly arranged and executed prenuptial agreement will not be set aside. Needless to say they need to be updated to maintain their validity, they can’t be overly harsh or prejudicial to a woman or a man as a matter of fact, can’t deal with custody issues etc, but properly designed and maintained with fairness in mind they serve a really good purpose of financial responsibility to your tribe. Keeps the relationship out of courts for the most part, they can stipulate that disputes and settlements to first go to mediation, avoid major legal costs of court battles. They are really good and usefull. In Netherladns prenuptial agreements entered not necessarily for the sake of breakup of realionships, but to deal with assets in case of one partners bankruptcy etc and in general to safeguard fairly joint assets in adverse events other than break up. They can be used to find common ground with your life partner, ensure proper intentions and ensure to great extent that interests of the kids will be protected and looked after in any case. Don’t fall head over heels for a person who seems less than honest, show your strong side. Plan ahead and stay strong. After all we are men, we supposed to be strong.

    Comment by Alex — Sat 14th May 2011 @ 6:14 pm

  23. I have often read and heard of prenuptual agreements being challenged successfully by women who decide that what they previously agreed to now doesn’t give them enough. While agreements may not be overturned completely they seem to be readily amended in the woman’s favour.

    It is true though that having an agreement is often better than not having one, if only because it means that both parties have at least considered and agreed on the relevant matters. In those (rare?) cases where both parties honour what they agreed to this can avoid subsequent legal battles.

    However, in my opinion our default relationship-property laws are seriously flawed if most people have to spend thousands of dollars to lawyers in order to try to get an arrangement they see as just. To me, the default law could work much better for most people if, for example, it protected both parties’ pre-existing assets and defined relationship property only as the increase in either or both party’s assets from the time the relationship began. The main problem with current law is that its primary aim was to transfer wealth from men to women.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Sat 14th May 2011 @ 11:33 pm

  24. In the US, prenuptial agreements are about as worthless as the marriage contract. Prenuptial agreements are interpreted as an instrument of “abuse” and anything that has to do with marriage is just a mechanism to transfer wealth from men to women.

    Comment by Darryl X — Sat 14th May 2011 @ 11:57 pm

  25. Some useful thoughts to ponder in here guys, but I’d like to point out that it does work both ways too. There are men who marry to find a ‘stand-in’ mother, caregiver, housekeeper, chauffeur, lover… and want these women to give up their jobs to do it, then insist they sign a prenup for the previous assets. It’s not just women taking advantage of men, it’s people taking advantage of people.

    Marriage is so easily entered into, and so easily thrown away, that we no longer spend enough time considering the personality of our future spouse – which is of course the more important consideration over wealth in planning a lifetime(?) committment.

    Just my 2c worth…

    Comment by Rachel — Tue 17th May 2011 @ 4:37 am

  26. Thanks, Rachel, for your perspective. I understand that some men will take advantage of a woman. Historically, it is extremely rare. Just compare the incidence of divorce prior to and after 1970 in the US. Given the opportunity, less than 3.5% of all husbands divorced their wives, and usually they had good reasons (the woman was committing adultery, was violent, etc… Today, given the choice, more than 50% of wives divorce their husbands, almost never for a good reason, and usually to facilitate adultery, for profit, for revenge, whatever illegitimate reason you can think of, they do it. So, yes, both men and women behave badly, but data show conclusively that women behave badly much much much more than men. And divroce statistics aren’t the only ones that show how bad behavior of women is compared to men. You can consult data concerning domestic violence, child abuse, paternity fraud, adultery, etc… They all portray women as absolute monsters compared to men. Look at things quantitatively, no qualitatively.

    Comment by Darryl X — Tue 17th May 2011 @ 9:45 am

  27. Oh, I should point out too that 50% of wives divorce their husbands today but less than 7% of husbands divorce their wives. So, huge difference.

    Comment by Darryl X — Tue 17th May 2011 @ 9:54 am

  28. Rachel,
    I think the kind of guys you describe are rare.
    Whereas it’s commonplace, indeed often encouraged and condoned for women to divorce men when they decide they’ve outlived their usefulness.
    No doubt you’ve heard of the term – sex object.
    Do you understand the term – success object?
    If and when you do, welcome to guyland.
    More and more men understand marriage 2.0.

    Comment by Skeptik — Tue 17th May 2011 @ 3:09 pm

  29. Just my 2c worth”¦

    geez steeling my nick 😉

    Some useful thoughts to ponder in here guys, but I’d like to point out that it does work both ways too.

    I agree 100%. Both males and females really are no better than the other on certain tasks. Our brains are wired differently and theres a reason for that.

    Marriage is so easily entered into, and so easily thrown away

    Marriage to many people is just a piece of paper legally binding two people together and thats it. Couples of yester year took it more seriously before they tired the knot. Of course back then females were expected to do certain things and also the male was expected to do certain things. Now-a-days that “block” has been taken away and no one wants to be held accountable if something goes wrong. This of course leads to further problems.

    Comment by 2c Worth — Wed 18th May 2011 @ 1:47 pm

  30. Hi guys, I am a law student and can assist with a template to work from and the formalities required. Al

    Comment by Al O`Connor — Fri 17th February 2012 @ 8:45 am

  31. Please help me with the situation i am in. I married just last year, and am very happy. But i did mention that id like to get a prenup done before hand, we didnt get to have one done as we married overseas and there was too much on our plate, i still would like to have one done as i have worked very hard to get to where i am and if this didnt work i would like to know that my assets are safe. My husband is happy to sign the papers, how do i go about this?

    Comment by Jasmine — Wed 21st March 2012 @ 8:19 pm

  32. Hi all,

    I came across this board while looking for a pre-nup template having just been quoted the cost of drawing one up and was so disturbed, I felt I had to respond. Fem Zealand? Seriously? I could say a thing or two about Kiwi men, but that wouldn’t help.

    Anyway, Daryl, Where are you pulling your stats from? Less than 3.5% of men divorce their wives? And do you have the statistics on male fidelity in marriage? A man committing adultery is hardly going to leave his marriage and risk having to pay the price in the way of financial loss or access to his children. A woman on the other hand, rather than cheat, may leave a man because he simply doesn’t contribute; in terms of raising his children, keeping his home clean, putting in the effort – there are common faults that rise on both sides. But what I’m reading here is pure mysogeny. Women are not out to steal your wealth. I and many of my female friends earn more than our partners. We are generous, offer emotional and financial support and quite frankly, do most of the work in the relationship. I don’t think I’ve met a single Kiwi man who earned more than me; I think you’re all expressing a fairly skewed perspective based on your own negative previous experiences, or perhaps a feeling of inadequacy that you’re placing on women, but which is really yours to own. There are lazy, money-grubbing people of both sexes, manipulative men who cheat and steal from their partners and women who are looking for an easy ride by marrying a wealthier man. Although I don’t know any of the latter, and have met plenty of the former. Just sayin’.

    Anyway, neither men nor women are ‘the’ commodity. Neither really needs the other for anything any more, including child BIRTH. Rearing… that’s a different matter, but birth-wise, if you want a child, there are ways and means. But if two people do love each other and come together in an EQUAL partnership based on mutual respect, it still pays for both to protect themselves and their relationship with a pre-nup so that there is no suspicion in those early years.

    It is a shame it’s so expensive. And just keep in mind, circumstances can change. For instance, one man who cheated on me and left me after we had lived together for two years and been together for three (Oh, and btw, I took not ONE thing of his when I left because I have some self-respect and I don’t steal) used to earn $40,000 a year more than me. He now only earns $10,000 more than me, and at some point I will likely leave him behind income-wise.

    Please don’t see women as your enemies. If you are savvy about whose company you keep and are respectful and honest yourself, you will attract a mate who’s every bit your equal and will hopefully turn your cynicism around.

    I hope so anyway. Future generations will not be healthy if men and women are suspicious and hateful of each other and only use each other for sex and wealth creation.

    Comment by Sarah — Tue 19th February 2013 @ 3:10 pm

  33. troll alert

    Comment by Mits — Tue 19th February 2013 @ 5:07 pm

  34. That’s considered trolling? Then you have issues.

    Comment by Sarah — Tue 19th February 2013 @ 5:13 pm

  35. yep I do specially with that post but nuff said

    Comment by Mits — Tue 19th February 2013 @ 6:03 pm

  36. Dear Sir/Mam

    I heard from a friend yesterday that when you have signed a prenup that it is only valid for 5 years. Is this true?
    I have been married (second marriage) now for 6 years, and we did this soon after our marriage before the lawyers
    Does this mean that we have to renew this contract?
    I sure would appreciate an answer to my question

    Thank you so much
    Corrie Preest

    Comment by Corrie Preest — Wed 23rd March 2016 @ 3:14 pm

  37. Do not know what you mean by comment I just asked a question that’s all

    Comment by Corrie Preest — Wed 23rd March 2016 @ 3:17 pm

  38. Corrie Preest: Not sure what comment you referred to; it may have been spam which constantly arrives and is either filtered out or removed manually by editors on this site.

    A lawyer may know if there is a time limit on a pre-nup. We’re not sure if any lawyers are contributing here at the present time. We’re not lawyers but we have never heard of a 5-year validity limit. We understand that any such agreement remains in force unless it is changed. However, we also know that Courts readily overturn such agreements especially in favour of women who seem to be treated as entitled to the assets of any man they mate with. It may be that after 5 years Courts are more likely to rule that changed circumstances render the agreement less valid, and it may be wise to renew the agreement from time to time if you wish to avoid this. However, if indeed you are female you need have little fear that the Court will overturn a prenuptial agreement that is seen to protect your own assets.

    Comment by Ministry of Men's Affairs — Thu 24th March 2016 @ 8:30 am

  39. Rachel above made some valid comments, which in my opinion men should face. Way more than 2c worth! Many men don’t understand or appreciate good relationships and the efforts to maintain a wide circle of relationships, until long after they have lost them. Not possible to compare relationship values with relationship property, in a useful way.

    I would have said that in practical terms, prenups are valid up to a couple of years before you signed it, about the time the tree was cut down. Academic law is no use to real people in the real world. Less than useless, just a dangerous distraction from reality.

    I know of a woman caught by Relationship Property Act. She was let off a bit lightly by the judge, but was still forced to sell her home and move down and pay large, worthless legal bills. Extremely unfair, as the man had kept his property completely separate and was as well off as the woman, but she was financially torn to pieces, to transfer some money to a non-deserving man.

    A lawyer told me years ago that pre-nuptional agreements listing non-relationship property are just to list assets for later taking. So, I don’t see any point in worrying about the wording, the less words the better. No words at all – better still!

    I would worry much more about my legal worker’s ethics and integrity. You don’t need to worry about the judge’s integrity, as you have no control over which judge you will get (unless you are a lawyer with good connections).

    The only people who work comfortably with the Relationship Property Act are businessmen who keep a quiet stash of assets that their wife knows nothing at all about. Takes a lot of crafty work to do and maintain. (Of course it can work both ways…. ) The Lord helps those, who helps themselve$. Just read about Apple Corporation’s tax arrangements. Even if you are not a businesswoman, this advice is still the most practical that I have seen. Staying ahead of the money laundering regulations is slowly getting more difficult though….

    There is no point in being an innocent, who didn’t look ahead and then ends up just a “shining wit”.

    In the end, the quality of legislation, at best, is limited by the quality of the caught$. Caught$ are human in the very worst sense. Deal with them on that basis only.

    Legal precision is really just in the invoicing and chasing down real money after invoicing, whether or not anything was achieved. If you aren’t being entertained by them (especially if you are getting stressed by them), you just aren’t dealing with them sensibly.


    Comment by MurrayBacon — Fri 1st April 2016 @ 12:06 pm

  40. I have no issues with any increase in equity during a well-defined relationship (such as marriage) being split 50/50. We are actually quite lucky in NZ, there is no alimony! They make up for this with excessive and unfairly enforced ‘child’ support (used to be called Liable Parent Contributions and were solely male!) though :-(. Almost all pre-nups say is that what I brought in I’ll take out. That should actually be the default, and you should have to contract out of it. And don’t give me that ‘family home’ shit. If the ‘mum’ doesn’t have a home, the kids stay with their father who can provide for and protect them without being a burden on the tax-payer.

    Comment by Brian — Fri 1st April 2016 @ 9:37 pm

  41. Hear hear Brian!

    Comment by Man X Norton — Fri 1st April 2016 @ 10:39 pm

  42. This is something I am going through now. I had a legally binding contracting out agreement drawn up, we each had independent legal advice and all the requirements were met but the Judge still set it aside (made it invalid). The problem is it doesn’t matter what you do, the courts can cancel the agreement if they claim that it causes serious injustice, there is no definition of serious injustice. The family court system is being used as a tool to destroy NZ families and society, by de-funding anyone they think could be self sufficient they are helping to make more people rely on the government. If one partner is working and one is on a benefit, the one working will be kept from their children because they “can” pay child support, the other person can’t, they will also probably appeal the findings of the judge therefore will create more income for the court. Best way to protect your property is to have it owned by a business, family court has no jurisdiction over the companies act. The requirement to have evidence has been removed from all family court laws so to win people just lie and keep lying, no-one has been done for perjury in the family court and the court doesn’t require evidence. People need to start standing up for themselves by refusing to accept the corruption we are all facing here in NZ.

    Comment by Ollie — Sat 7th October 2023 @ 6:08 am

  43. Absolutely loved your insightful article! Your breakdown of essential points to consider in a prenup for women was incredibly thorough and enlightening. I especially appreciated your emphasis on financial transparency and protection. Your suggestions on property division and spousal support provide a great starting point for those navigating this crucial document. If readers want to delve deeper into this topic, I highly recommend checking out what should a woman ask for in a prenup, where they explore the nuances in a thought-provoking manner.

    Comment by Sophie Turner — Sun 31st December 2023 @ 6:24 pm

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