Boston Prenup Lawyer
With almost 50% of all marriages ending in divorce, I’m not surprised by the number of people researching prenuptial agreements.
In my opinion, every couple planning a marriage should also add a prenuptial agreement to their to-do list. It doesn’t matter if you have a lot of money, a little money, or have a mountain of debt – my advice is to have a prenuptial agreement prepared prior to your marriage.
And I say that for three reasons.
One, if your marriage does end in divorce, and there is no prenuptial agreement, your divorce will be decided by the default divorce laws for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts – and those laws are set-in-stone.
Two, it’s a great way to discover a little more about your future husband or wife. With a prenuptial agreement, all assets and debts must be listed and because of that, you won’t have to face any nasty surprises after the wedding day. With a majority of marriages ending because of arguments or disagreements over money, doesn’t it just make sense to lay-out the finances before you say “I do.”
And three, because 50% of all marriages end in divorce, having a prenuptial agreement in place is significantly cheaper that going through a nasty, contested divorce.
How are Prenuptial Agreements Created?
As I indicated earlier, both parties list their assets and debts and agree on how to handle them. Then the couple typically either agrees to split assets and debts accrued during the marriage, or agrees to other contractual language that might apply to their specific situation.
So do you, and your future spouse, a favor and have a prenuptial agreement drawn up.
After all, It’s better to plan out of love then to plan when you’re “in hate”.
What Can’t You Include in a Prenup?
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Boston Prenup Lawyer FAQs
Do I need to make a lot of money to have a prenup?
Not at all. Creating a prenuptial agreement is a great way for future spouses to discuss their current finances—the good and the bad—and to plan for how they’ll combine or separate their finances during the marriage. It helps couples move forward with a marriage on the same page regarding how to handle money, which is particularly important if there is a significant difference in incomes, or one person carries a lot of debt.
Can we sign a prenup after we get married?
Yes, you can sign an agreement regarding assets and debts during your marriage—known as a post-nuptial agreement. However, a divorce court will review such an agreement carefully to make sure one party didn’t take advantage of another. Many couples sign a post-nuptial agreement when their marriage is rocky. If they get a divorce later, one party might claim they signed the agreement under duress in order to try and save the marriage.
What if one of the provisions in my prenup isn’t allowed?
If you have a prenup and the judge finds only one of the many provisions is unlawful, then the rest of the prenup might still be enforceable. For example, let’s say you and your spouse included a provision saying the mother will get full custody of the kids. Provisions regarding child custody and child support aren’t allowed, and the judge will determine what is in the child’s best interest at the time of the divorce. But depending on the wording of the agreement, the rest might stand.
Can I contest a prenup during a divorce?
Yes, either spouse can contest a prenup on several grounds. If you believe the prenup is unfair or unconscionable, then you can ask the court to deem it invalid. You also can contest the prenup if you found out your spouse was not honest about their finances when you entered into the agreement.
When can a court throw out a prenup?
A prenup is a contract, which means in order for a court to accept it, it has to be valid under Massachusetts law. A prenup must be reasonable at the time it was signed and at the time of divorce. Both parties must have provided complete and accurate financial information, had access to legal counsel if they wanted it, been given time to consider and negotiate the terms, and not been coerced into signing it. If one party wasn’t allowed to have a lawyer or was coerced into signing the agreement, or if the financial information provided wasn’t complete or true, then it’s unenforceable.
If you would like to discuss prenuptial agreements, don’t hesitate to call me at (617) 652-5748 or contact me through my online form.
We’ll discuss your particular situation – and then you can decide if a prenuptial agreement is right for you and your future spouse.