Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Marriage Contract Definition:

A contract between prospective husband and wife, or during the marriage, and which settles in whole or in part, their respective rights and obligations as regards the marriage.

Related Terms: Marriage

Also a marriage agreement.

In Corker, the California Supreme Court defined a marriage contract as follows:

"Contracts or conveyances, in contemplation of marriage, whereby property is promised to or settled on either or both of the parties, by either or both of the parties, or by a third party; and contracts whereby either or each of the parties releases or modifies, or agrees to release or modify his or her property rights, which would otherwise arise from the marriage, are called marriage settlements or (marriage) contracts."

In Norrell, Justice Fansler of the Supreme Court of Indiana wrote:

"[A] contract by which the parties agree to immediately become husband and wife is sufficient, but that a contract to become husband and wife in the future is not a marriage contract...."


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