How Do Matrimonial Agreements Work?

Authored By: Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA)

Matrimonial Agreements

Matrimonial agreements (i.e. pre-nuptial agreements) allow for the renunciation, termination or modification of the community property rules as follows:

  • A matrimonial agreement can maintain the spouses completely separate in property, or provide for separate and community property during the marriage. For example, the salary of one spouse can be classified as his/her separate property and the salary of the other spouse classified to be community property, or the spouses can provide for fixed contributions to the expenses of the marriage or apportion community property by shares.
  • A matrimonial agreement executed prior to the marriage does not require judicial approval. 
  • A matrimonial agreement executed after the marriage (subject to exception below) requires judicial approval and must be by joint petition.
  • During the first year after moving into and acquiring a domicile in Louisiana, spouses may enter into a matrimonial agreement without judicial approval.
  • A matrimonial agreement is effective towards third parties as to real estate when filed for registry in the conveyance records of the parish where the property is situated, and as to movables when filed for registry in the parish where the spouses are domiciled.
  • A minor cannot enter into a matrimonial agreement without written consent of his mother and father, or the parent with legal custody, or their tutor, unless they are fully emancipated
Last Review and Update: Oct 29, 2021
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