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153) Legal merger of husband and wife no longer occurs as it did at common law; however, Massachusetts does recognize the unique aspect of marriage with regard to antenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
All civil marriages concluded by Africans were automatically out of community of property, while all other civil marriages concluded in the country were (and still are) regarded as being in community of property, except where the parties had concluded an antenuptial contract.
227 (holding that, where an antenuptial agreement required the wife to make a gift at the husband's death, the wife's gift is deemed to be made at the husband's death when the amount of the gift could be ascertained, notwithstanding the general rule that an enforceable contract to make a future gift is a gift when the contract is entered into).
151) In comparison, a choice-of-law rule on the validity of marriage that relies on the parties' antenuptial domicile would recognize an immigrant's existing marriage even if such a marriage would not be possible in that state.
In recent decades, family law has become more receptive to antenuptial contracts and to separation agreements.
Antenuptial Agreement: A legal contract signed by two people prior to marriage which states limitations to spouse's rights to property, support, or inheritance if the marriage ends in divorce.
For example, the right to elect might be waived in an antenuptial agreement.
Under Roman-Dutch law, (30) for example, marriage created a community of goods, unless stipulated otherwise in an antenuptial contract.
Younger, Perspectives on Antenuptial Agreements: An Update, 8 J.
288 (1998) (recommending that courts should take into consideration any antenuptial agreements when deciding apportionment of resources).
A prenuptial or antenuptial agreement is a document signed by two people who intend to be married, defining their rights and obligations if and when they get divorced.
58) At about the same time, courts began to recognize and enforce antenuptial agreements, previously considered invalid as violative of state public policy.
However, when Robert Thomson was accused of antenuptial fornication (premarital sex) because a child was born too soon after the marriage he said