An agreement between a husband and wife outlining the spouses' respective responsibilities and obligations. Some contracts also include agreements as to how property and ongoing obligations will be shared if the marriage breaks down.
a contract made between the husband or promised husband of a woman who was about to marry or just had, and her male relatives, settling the provision to be made for the wife or future wife. The idea was to improve on the legal rights of the wife or future wife and any children of the marriage, usually by the husband agreeing to grant them a liferent, or to grant the wife an annuity ( the jointure), which would safeguard against any risk of the husband becoming insolvent. The contract could be made before marriage, when it was termed an "ante-nuptial contract", or it could be "post-nuptial" if made after; the ante-nuptial version gave the wife and children much stronger rights over the husband's estate should get into debt, because they would then be entitled to be considered as his creditors.