What are the benefits of entering into a marriage contract? In some countries, including the United States, Belgium and the Netherlands, the matrimonial agreement provides not only for what happens in the event of a divorce, but also to protect certain properties during marriage, for example in the event of bankruptcy. Many countries, including Canada, France, Italy and Germany, have marital rules, in addition to or in some cases instead of marriage agreements. A sunset arrangement can be inserted into a marriage agreement stipulating that the contract expires after a specified period. In Maine, it automatically expires after the birth of a child, provided the parties do not renew the contract if the parties do not renew the agreement.  In other countries, a number of years of marriage will result in the expiration of a marriage. In countries that have adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA), there is no sunset provision in the law, but one could be under private contract. Note that the states have different versions of the UPAA. Even in countries that have not adopted UPAA/UPMAA such as New York, properly executed marriage contracts have the same presumption of legality as any other treaty.  It is not necessary for a couple who signs a marriage pact to keep separate lawyers to represent him as long as each party understands the agreement and signs it voluntarily with the intention of being bound by its terms.
There is a strong public policy that favours parties that control and decide their own interests through contracts.  There are no state or federal laws requiring adults with contractual capacity to hire a lawyer in order to enter into a marriage contract such as a marriage contract, with the exception of a California law that requires the parties to be represented by a lawyer if spousal assistance (support) is limited by the agreement.  The marriage agreement may be challenged if it is proven that the contract was signed under duress.  Whether a pre-marriage contract was signed under duress must be justified by the facts and circumstances of this case. For example, it was found that a spouse`s assertion that she believed there would be no marriage if it was not a marriage, where the marriage was only two weeks away and marriage plans had been made, was not sufficient to demonstrate coercion.  There are many, but „one of the main reasons to sign a prenup is to deviate from what the law would provide in the event of a divorce,“ says Elysa Greenblatt, a divorce lawyer in NYC.