Prenuptial And Postnuptial Agreements
The last thing that any happy couple wants to do is drive a wedge into their relationship by asking for a financial agreement before or during the marriage. However, the fact that about 40 percent of marriages in this country end in divorce can weigh on the minds of even the most dedicated and happy couples.
If you are entering a marriage where one or both people have, or are likely to amass, significant assets, it is wise to consider a prenuptial agreement before marriage. Similarly, married couples who have acquired significant assets, either through earnings or inheritances, can benefit from a postnuptial agreement, which serves the same function as a prenuptial agreement.
Why Are Prenuptial And Postnuptial Agreements Useful?
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements allow a couple to retain control of their own financial lives in the event their marriage ends in divorce. Without one, the division of the marital estate will likely be decided by the courts.
Some of the reasons people choose to have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement include:
- There are premarital debts, such as student loans, that a couple agrees to keep separate
- They want to ensure that certain assets are excluded from the marital property, such as trust funds, retirement plans, family heirlooms and inheritances
- There are children from a previous marriage who need to be protected financially
- One spouse is involved in a business venture that must be excluded from the marital estate
- The couple has a business together and there are complex considerations about ownership and intellectual property rights that need to be addressed
Ultimately, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements allow couples to try to create their own rules, within reason, for the division of assets and spousal support. It is important to note that even with an existing prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, the courts must review any separation agreement, and sometimes pre/postnuptial agreements are determined to be invalid.
We Strive To Make This Process A Positive Experience
At the Law Offices of Sheara F. Friend, we know that prenuptial and postnuptial agreements do not have to create resentment. They can be approached in a collaborative process and ease a couple’s fears and can strengthen the relationship.
If you are considering a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, please call 978-464-1071 to schedule a consultation. We represent clients throughout Middlesex, Norfolk, Essex, Suffolk, Plymouth, Worcester, Bristol and Barnstable counties.