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A prenuptial agreement (“prenup”) is an agreement entered into by a couple prior to marriage which sets forth the parties’ financial obligations and property rights upon divorce. A prenup can address money and property held prior to the marriage, money earned and property accumulated during the marriage, as well as spousal support which may be paid following a divorce.
A postnuptial agreement (“postnup”) is an agreement entered into by a couple during their marriage which sets forth the parties’ financial obligations and property rights in the event of a divorce. Similar to a prenup, a postnuptial agreement can address money and property held prior to the marriage, money earned and property accumulated during the marriage, as well as spousal support which may be paid following a divorce.
Both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements have the benefit of saving considerable time and expense compared to a typical litigated divorce. Rather than embarking on an expensive and often time-consuming process of dividing marital assets in traditional divorce litigation, these agreements often sets out the division of assets for the parties in the event of a divorce. Similarly, prenups and postnups can also cover a number of other issues, including determining how much a party will pay/receive in alimony, which party remains in the marital home, and even which party keeps the pets!
It is wise for engaged couples considering entering into a prenup to get all of the information early in the engagement. Prenups often take months to draft, negotiate, and complete. Many states require prenups to be signed well in advance of the marriage in order to be enforceable, and there must be full financial disclosure on both sides and the agreement must be reasonable.
If you are considering a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in Massachusetts, you should retain your own experienced Massachusetts family law attorney to draft and/or review the document to be certain that your interests are protected.
Finally, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are just not for the wealthy. Couples with more moderate estates and income are taking advantage of these agreements more and more frequently.
For more information, please contact Cunnally Law Group, LLC, Massachusetts Family Law attorneys and mediators, at (508) 346-3805.
Cunnally Law Group, LLC can be reached at 508-346-3805.