Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer
Virtually everyone entering into matrimony does so with the assumption that the marriage will last forever. However, statistics reflect at least a 50 percent divorce rate for first marriages and an alarmingly higher rate for subsequent marriages when money and children from prior relationships are at issue. As a result, more and more couples, whether entering into a marriage or deciding to live together without being married, are signing prenuptial or cohabitation agreements that create a property settlement without the need for litigation.
At The Law Offices of Judith A. Wayne & Associates. Wayne, our prenuptial agreements attorney helps clients negotiate prenup agreements throughout Massachusetts, from as far west as Pittsfield and as far east as Cape Cod and the Islands, including Boston, Marblehead and the North Shore. We work diligently to protect the assets and interests of our clients.
To schedule a consultation, call The Law Offices of Judith A. Wayne & Associates. Wayne at 781-691-9104.
Who Needs a Prenup Agreement?
Traditionally, young couples with few assets who anticipated building a financial future together often did not want or believe that they needed a prenuptial agreement. However, today many couples entering into first marriages with no pre-acquired assets are opting for prenuptial agreements to remove the possibility of a costly and acrimonious divorce.
Prenuptial agreements are a vital tool because the parties decide how assets will be divided in the event of a divorce. For prenuptial agreements to be upheld, they must be drafted and signed sufficiently in advance of marriage, both parties must make full financial disclosure to the other, and each party must have their own attorney.
Providing You With Peace of Mind
First marriages where one spouse has a disproportionate share of assets demonstrate the necessity of a prenuptial agreement. Most lawyers also recommend them for subsequent marriages where one or both parties enter the relationship with significant assets acquired from past relationships or from the fruits of their own labors. A prenuptial agreement allows you to protect assets you want to pass on to your children.
Despite grim divorce statistics, many people remain in unhappy marriages for fear of losing the assets they have acquired during the marriage or out of concern that divorce would cause them to lose the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. Fear of losing one’s assets applies to both men and women, since most households have two incomes, and sometimes a woman earns more than her husband does. Prenuptial agreements would eliminate that need to remain in an unhappy circumstance just to preserve the financial status quo.
Opponents might argue that prenuptial agreements cause divorce by making it easier to dissolve a marriage. However, this contract in and of itself does not cause the problems that result in divorce; it merely makes the divorce process less combative should those problems arise.
Those with significant assets prior to entering a marriage would be wise to consider the protection afforded by a prenuptial agreement. Even those with few or no assets are deciding to eliminate the possibility of a contentious termination of their relationship by clearly defining the division of their future acquired assets prior to entering the marriage.
Enforcing Premarital Agreements
Massachusetts case law favors the effectiveness of a properly drafted prenuptial agreement, provided both parties are represented by lawyers and have made complete financial disclosures to each other at the time of the execution of the agreement.
In the recent past, prenuptial agreements were routinely overturned by Massachusetts probate court judges when the aggrieved spouse claimed to have signed the agreement under duress. This is no longer the case, as courts tend to dismiss the “duress” defense as irrelevant. However, prenuptial agreements can be overturned if they fail to take into account future children born of the marriage.
Constructive Trusts and Premarital Agreements
If you are living together with another person but are not married, a prenuptial-type agreement can protect your financial interests if the relationship ends. Otherwise, the person you live with could sue you to establish a constructive trust. For more information, see constructive trusts and prenuptial agreements.
Call for a Consultation With a Prenup Attorney
Nous parlons Français.