Agreements that you conclude with regard to your marriage are prenuptial agreements. You agree with your spouse on a contractual level certain rights and obligations arising from the fact that you are married to each other. You can conclude such a prenuptial agreement before you get married and at any stage of your marriage.
A prenuptial agreement is a contract under private law between two spouses in which they lay down individual rules for the marriage, but especially in the event of a possible divorce, which deviate from the legal rules.
Prenuptial agreements often specify the matrimonial property regime and thus the division of assets after the dissolution of the marriage, the equalisation of pension claims (pension equalisation) as well as regulations on post-marital maintenance.
Prenuptial agreements are a widespread legal institution in modern times, with the help of which married couples who do not wish to have certain legal regulations applied to their individual case “tailor” rules for their cohabitation.
Marriage contracts in this sense are to be distinguished from marriage contracts that were concluded in cultures where registering marriages was not common (examples: Ketubba, marriage in the Roman Empire), so that the private-law agreement of the spouses formed the only legal bond between them.
A marriage contract can be useful if the legal provisions for your marriage do not fit well and you want to regulate the consequences of the marriage individually. You can regulate possible later maintenance claims and provision for old age with a marriage contract.