Types of Marital Agreements
Most people approach marriage with high hopes. Today, a marital agreement is a commonly accepted way for you to put your financial history and expectations on the table. Discussing your finances while things are going well is usually a better idea than waiting until conflicts arise and emotions are running high to decide if the car in your driveway is shared property.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
Both can be as simple or as broad as you wish, or as your situation requires. You each list your assets and debts, and with the help of attorneys, decide which will become shared property and which will remain solely yours in the event of divorce or death, and add any additional provisions, for example, alimony or support payments. Once you sign the agreement, it can be changed or cancelled if you both agree to the change.
To see what these forms look like, visit the U.S. Legal Forms website.
A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement will most likely be accepted if both parties had the opportunity to be legally represented, if there was no fraud or coercion involved, if all assets and debts were made known by both parties, if each spouse agreed in writing to waive the right to a judicial equitable division of assets and all marital rights in the event of a divorce, and finally, if the division was fair both at the time the agreement was created and at the time of divorce.
The Debate About Postnuptial Agreements
Postnuptial agreements were not generally recognized in Massachusetts until a recent Supreme Judicial Court ruling in Boston. Read more about the Ansin vs. Craven-Ansin case. Even after this ruling, the court looks at the situation and the agreement very carefully to make sure they meet all the conditions listed above before validating the agreement.
Separation (Settlement) Agreements
Why Do I Need an Agreement?
It is important that each of you are represented by your own attorney to help prepare your agreement. In case your agreement is ever contested in court, you can be sure that it complies with current Massachusetts laws and has the best possible chance of being declared valid.
Contact us today if you have any questions about these agreements or if you would like to discuss your options.
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