Download Washington Prenuptial Agreement Form [PDF]

Read this article and learn how to draft the Washington prenuptial agreement and exclude your individual property from the marital property.

Last update: 22 Apr 2024

Download Washington Prenuptial Agreement Form [PDF]

The Washington prenuptial agreement is a legal document used by future spouses to determine their financial relationship during and after marriage. This document is often used when one or both parties have accumulated certain assets before the marriage that they want to keep separate from the marital property.

Contrary to that, the prenuptial agreement is also often used when one of the future spouses has certain liabilities acquired before entering the marriage, such as credit card debts, mortgages, loans, and more.

Parties don’t only use the prenuptial agreement after marriage. This document can also be used to determine the rights and obligations of the partners towards the property acquired during the marriage.

Laws and Legal Requirements for a Prenuptial Agreement in Washington

The laws and legal requirements for a prenuptial agreement in Washington are outlined in the state law and precedents established by the Washington courts. 

The main reason for this is that Washington is one of the states that hasn’t adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. Due to this, it recognizes community property law instead of equitable distribution. That’s why, in Washington, the spouses jointly own all property acquired during a marriage, and they equally distribute it in the event of a divorce. RCW 26.16.030 further regulates the community property law.

The main case in Washington regarding the prenuptial agreement is Marriage of Matson, 107 Wn. 2d 479 (1986). It provides the following:

“Although prenuptial agreements are not directly authorized by statute, we have long recognized the right of the members of a prospective marital community to contract between themselves regarding their property.”

Signing Requirements for a Prenuptial Agreement in Washington

According to the signing requirements for a prenuptial agreement in Washington, this document should be in written form. Moreover, both parties to the agreement must sign the document for it to be valid.

The state law doesn’t require the parties to notarize the prenup agreement or have the witness acknowledge it. However, the parties should also consider this step since this will additionally confirm the authenticity of the document. The witnesses or the notary public will confirm that the parties have personally signed the document, which will prevent potential fraudulent activities.

Prenuptial Agreement Enforcement in Washington

The prenuptial agreement will be unenforceable if one of the parties proves that they have signed the agreement against their will.

Moreover, the document will be unenforceable if one of the parties doesn’t fully or truthfully present their financial status in the agreement before signing it. This can happen when one of them fails to outline all the assets or liabilities they have acquired before entering the marriage.

Another reason for declaring the prenuptial agreement unenforceable is when one of the parties becomes eligible under a program of public assistance as a result of prenuptial agreement enforcement. The court will then declare the agreement unenforceable and order the other party to support the party that will otherwise become eligible for public assistance.

What Can a Prenuptial Agreement in Washington Cover?

The prenuptial agreement template in Washington can cover any provision that regulates the financial relationship of future spouses. However, these provisions cannot violate state law or public policy.

The following are the most typical matters that a prenuptial agreement form can regulate:

Provisions in a Prenuptial Agreement

  • Rights and responsibilities of the parties in terms of their individual property

  • Right to sell, buy, lease, mortgage, transfer, or manage the marital property

  • Rules on how the property will be divided in case of a marriage dissolution, divorce, death, or any similar event.

Prenuptial Agreement in Washington: Validity Criteria

The prenup agreement will be considered invalid if it’s not made in written form and is not signed by both parties to the agreement.

Moreover, the validity of the agreement is also connected with the existence of the marriage. This means that the agreement will be considered invalid if the parties don’t get married after signing it.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Newest legal practices, savvy tips and insightful articles.