CHAPTER 462

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 303

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 13 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PREMARITAL AGREEMENTS; AND PROVIDING FOR A UNIFORM PREMARITAL AGREEMENT ACT.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Amend Title 13 of the Delaware Code by deleting Subchapter I, Sections 301 and 302, entitled "Antenuptial and Postnuptial Contracts", in its entirety and redesignating Title 13, Subchapter II, captioned "Married Women", as "Subchapter I."

Section 2. Amend Title 13 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new subchapter designated as Subchapter 11, which new subchapter shall read as follows:

"Subchapter II. Premarital Agreements.

§321. Definitions

As used in this Subchapter:

(1) 'Premarital agreement' shall mean an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage, and which is effective upon marriage.

(2) 'Property' shall mean an interest, present or future, legal or equitable, vested or contingent, in real or personal property. including income and earnings.

§322. Formalities

A premarital agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. It is enforceable without consideration.

§323. Content (a) Parties to a premarital agreement may contract with respect to:

(1) the rights and obligations of each of the parties in any of the property of either or both of them whenever and wherever acquired or located;

(1) the right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign, create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property;

(2) the disposition of property upon separation, marital dissolution, death, or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event;

(3) the modification or elimination of spousal support or alimony;

(4) the making of a will, trust, or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement;

(5) the ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefit from a life insurance policy;

(6) the choice of law governing the construction of the agreement; and

(8) any other matter, including their personal rights and obligations, not in violation of public policy or a statute imposing a criminal penalty.

(b) The right of a child to support may not be adversely affected by a premarital agreement.

§324. Effect of Marriage

A premarital agreement becomes effective upon marriage.

§325. Amendment. Revocation

After marriage, a premarital agreement may be amended or revoked only by a written agreement signed by the parties. Such amended agreement or revocation is enforceable without consideration.

§326. Enforcement

(a) A premarital agreement is not enforceable if the party against whom enforcement is sought proves that:

(1) such party did not execute the agreement voluntarily; or

(2) the agreement was unconscionable when it was executed and, before execution of the agreement. that party:

(i) was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party;

(ii) did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided; and

(iii) did not have, or reasonably could not have had, an adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party.

(b) Any issue of unconscionability of a premarital agreement shall be decided by the court as a matter of law.

§327. Enforcement Void Marriage

If a new marriage is determined to be void, an agreement that would otherwise have been a premarital agreement is enforceable only to the extent necessary to avoid an inequitable result.

§328. Limitation of Actions

Any statute of limitations applicable to an action asserting a claim for relief under a premarital agreement is tolled during the time that the parties to the agreement are married. However, equitable defenses limiting the time for enforcement, including laches and estoppel, are available w either party."

Section 2. This Act shall be applied and construed w effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law with respect to the subject of this Act among states.

Section 3. This Act may be cited as the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act.

Section 4. If any provision of this Act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the validity does not affect other provisions or applications of this Act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

Section 5. This Act takes effect on September I. 1996 and applies to any premarital agreement executed on or after that date. Nothing in this Act affects the validity under Delaware law of any premarital agreement entered into prior to September 1, 1996.

Approved July 9, 1996