Is a prenup public record?

Most people want to keep that document private and it depends on the state you get married in.

Most people, upon completing a prenuptial agreement, want to keep that document private. After all, a prenup contains a lot of information about your assets and liabilities, and can outline you and your spouse’s financial roles within the marriage. In other words, generally not the kind of information people are trying to share publicly.

However, like many things in the world of prenups, whether your prenup is public record all depends on the state you get married in. There are some states that file prenups with the court along with the marriage license or after the wedding ceremony (which makes them public records), and some that don’t. If a prenuptial agreement is filed with a court, it may be accessible to the public unless the court orders otherwise. 

But, in some cases, it may actually be advantageous to make your prenup public record. Why? Because a prenup can often dictate the responsibility for certain obligations, such as debt. 

Let’s say you live in Louisiana, and you’re marrying a speculative real estate developer or a gambler who wants to be able to pursue their interest. If your marriage ends and your spouse has accrued liabilities, the state considers those liabilities community property—and either spouse can be held liable. A creditor who does not know about a prenuptial agreement can pursue either spouse.

There’s only one way to avoid this situation: record the prenuptial agreement so that a potential creditor is put on notice that the debt is the responsibility of only one spouse. By making it public record that there is no community property, or that there will be no community debts, it won’t be reasonable for a creditor to rely on community property rules.

It's important to note that laws regarding prenuptial agreements and their public accessibility can vary by jurisdiction. This is something your First attorney can give you specific guidance on.