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District of Columbia Postnuptial Agreement Law

Marriage – Postnuptial Agreements – District of Columbia

Division VIII, Title 46, Subtitle 1, Chapter 6, § 46-601. Rights enumerated.

The fact that a person is or was married shall not, after October 1, 1976, impair the rights and responsibilities of such person, which are hereby granted or confirmed, to acquire from anyone, and to hold and dispose of, in any manner, as his or hers, property of any kind, or to accept and be bound by any covenant or agreement relating to any property or debt, or to contract or engage in any trade, occupation or business arrangement or in any civil litigation of any sort (whether in contract, tort or otherwise) with or against anyone including such person’s spouse, to the same extent as an unmarried person, and neither the spouse of such person nor the spouse’s property shall be liable because of any contract or tort by such person in which the spouse has not directly or indirectly participated, except that both spouses shall be liable on any debt, contract or engagement entered into by either of them during their marriage for necessaries for either of them or for their dependent children. A married minor shall be subject to the same disabilities, including the requirement for appointment of a guardian of the minor’s estate, as an unmarried minor, except as otherwise provided by law. This section shall not be deemed to affect the law relating to ownership of property held by the husband and wife as tenants by the entireties, inheritance of property, actions for loss of consortium, family relations, or, except as to necessaries purchased during marriage, obligations for marital support.

Division III, Title 19, Chapter 6, Subchapter 1, § 19-601.01. Nonprobate transfers on death.

(a) A provision for a nonprobate transfer on death in an insurance policy, contract of employment, bond, mortgage, promissory note, certificated or uncertificated security, account agreement, custodial agreement, deposit agreement, compensation plan, pension plan, individual retirement plan, employee benefit plan, trust, conveyance, deed of gift, marital property agreement, or other written instrument of a similar nature is nontestamentary. This section includes a written provision that:

(1) Money or other benefits due to, controlled by, or owned by a decedent before death must be paid after the decedent’s death to a person whom the decedent designates, either in the instrument or in a separate writing, including a will, executed either before or at the same time as the instrument, or later;
(2) Money due or to become due under the instrument ceases to be payable in the event of death of the promisee or the promisor before payment or demand; or
(3) Any property controlled by or owned by the decedent before death which is the subject of the instrument passes to a person the decedent designates, either in the instrument or in a separate writing, including a will, executed either before or at the same time as the instrument, or later.

(b) This section does not limit rights of creditors under other laws of the District.

(c) This section does not determine the validity of, or priority among, any inconsistent provisions in documents specified in subsection (a) of this section.

Disclaimer: This law summary is not legal advice. If you are not an attorney, you should consult an attorney about serious legal matters.

Inside District of Columbia Postnuptial Agreement Law