Dover Prenup Lawyer
Whether you say “I do” at a church, temple, courthouse, or anywhere else, you probably aren’t imagining that your marriage will end. Unfortunately, even the best-matched couple can
experience marital problems. Sitting down with a Dover prenup lawyer and discussing a prenuptial agreement can help to protect both spouses if you decide to get a divorce.
Under Massachusetts law, an antenuptial agreement or prenup will generally be upheld if it is reasonable and fair both when it was signed and at the time of the divorce. A prenup can cover many legal issues related to finances, such as alimony and the distribution of assets and debt, but it cannot be used to cover anything to do with children, including child custody or child support. Your Dover prenuptial attorney can help you consider various factors that can be addressed by a prenup, and then help you draft an antenuptial agreement that is likely to be upheld by a court in the event of a divorce.
Are Prenups Enforceable in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts law allows for prenups, which are referred to as antenuptial agreements in the domestic relations statutes. However, to be valid and enforceable, a prenup must comply with the law. Generally, a prenuptial agreement can cover various family law matters, such as:
- Alimony or spousal support
- Property division
- How debts will be handled
- Insurance issues
- Inheritances from family members
- The treatment of children from prior marriages
A prenuptial agreement must be in writing; oral prenups are not valid in Massachusetts. In addition, there must be full financial disclosure. Part of this requirement includes attaching a schedule of property to the agreement.
While prenups can cover many different issues related to finances in a marriage, it cannot include any provision that would limit or waive child support. In Massachusetts, child support is intended to benefit the child – so the parents cannot make an agreement that would take away the rights of their child or children related to financial support. However, if either spouse has children from a prior relationship, then the agreement may address how they will be treated (such as stipulating that neither spouse’s children will inherit from them).
If you are going through a contested divorce, then the validity of the prenup may come into play as part of the divorce process. A court will typically enforce an antenuptial agreement if it was fair and reasonable to both parties (1) at the time that it was signed; and (2) at the time of the judgment of divorce. If the prenup contains a voidable provision or if one or both parties did not make a full financial disclosure, then the contract may be invalidated.
If you are getting married, then a prenuptial agreement might be a good idea. Prenups aren’t only for wealthy people, and they aren’t a sign that you expect your marriage to end. They can be a practical way for a couple to protect themselves, their family business, their professional practice, or other assets in the event of a divorce.
Once you have decided that a prenup is right for you, the next step is to hire a Dover prenup lawyer to help you work through the details. Your attorney will listen to your concerns and then will draft a prenup agreement that will be valid and enforceable during the divorce process. They can also advise you on related family law issues and how they may impact your financial situation.
Can Soon-To-Be Ex Get Our Prenup Thrown Out?
During a divorce, one spouse can contest the antenuptial agreement. They might do so for a variety of reasons, including the very common belief that they won’t be treated fairly if the prenup is enforced. However, just because one party doesn’t like the terms of the prenup does not mean that it will be invalidated.
If one spouse contests the prenup, then the judge overseeing your contested divorce will examine the contract to determine if it was reasonable and fair at the time that it was signed. This includes analyzing a variety of factors, such as whether there were any coercion or threats if each side had the chance to talk to their family law attorneys before signing it, and if there was sufficient time to negotiate the terms of the prenup. In addition, a court will look to see if both parties made a complete and truthful financial disclosure of their assets and liabilities.
Finally, the judge will check the prenup for invalid provisions. If the agreement contains anything illegal under Massachusetts law (like an attempt to waive child support), then the prenup may be invalidated completely. Alternatively, the judge may strike the unlawful portions of the contract.
If the court finds that the agreement was reasonable and fair at the time of signing, it will then take a “second look” to make sure that it is reasonable and fair to both parties when they are going through the divorce process. If the terms of the agreement will leave one spouse “without sufficient property, maintenance, or appropriate employment,” then the prenup may be invalidated. For example, if one spouse became disabled throughout the marriage, then the prenup that was fair when it was signed may no longer be fair when the other spouse attempts to enforce it.
One of the primary goals of signing a prenuptial agreement is to reduce the potential for expensive litigation in the event of a divorce. A well-drafted prenup – particularly one where both parties had their own Dover divorce lawyers – is much less likely to be overturned than one that came from a template or an online service that does not provide Massachusetts-specific advice. Reach out to our law office today to schedule a free consultation with a Dover prenup attorney.
Call a Dover Prenup Lawyer at Infinity Law Group Today
A prenuptial agreement can ensure that your interests are protected in the event of a divorce. It can cover most financial issues that can arise during a divorce, other than child support. As long as the agreement is reasonable and fair to both parties, then it will usually be upheld by a court.
Infinity Law Group represents individuals and families with MA family law issues, including prenuptial agreements and both contested and uncontested divorces. We treat each client with compassion and respect and work hard to ensure that their interests are protected throughout the process. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation with a Dover prenup lawyer, give us a call at 617-250-8236 or fill out our online contact form.
Can I Use a Prenup to Make Sure My Spouse Doesn’t Get Alimony If They Cheat?
In Massachusetts, “lifestyle” clauses are almost always invalid. In other words, you cannot limit your spouse’s right to property or spousal support for infidelity, gaining weight, or another issue. If you put this type of provision into an antenuptial agreement, either the clause itself or the entire agreement may be invalidated by the court.
While it may seem unfair, prenuptial agreements generally can’t be used to punish or control a spouse. Our law firm can help you understand what a prenup can and cannot do – and will draft an antenuptial agreement that is more likely to stand up if challenged in court. Call Infinity Law Group today to schedule a free consultation with a Dover prenup attorney.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Write a Prenup in Massachusetts?
You are not required to hire an attorney to draft an antenuptial agreement. It is possible to take a DIY approach, and either use a template that you find online or a generic online legal services company. However, doing so may increase the odds that your prenup is unenforceable.
People choose to have prenups to protect themselves financially. This goal is undermined if a court finds that your prenup isn’t valid. If you want to have a prenup that will likely be upheld if challenged, you will need the help of a Dover prenup lawyer. Reach out to the Infinity Law Group to schedule an appointment with a member of our team.
See also: Dover Child Custody Lawyer