Unfortunately, we don’t always see eye-to-eye with our in-laws. In some cases, protective parents may want their child to enter a prenuptial agreement and may attempt to pressure the fiance into agreeing through various means. Read on to learn more about prenuptial agreements and whether you can be forced to sign one in Massachusetts.
What is a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a legal agreement that declares how a couple’s assets will be divided in the event that their marriage comes to an end. A prenup can:
- Detail how spouses may handle or control their insurance policies.
- Determine how their property, such as their home, shall be divided should they ever get a divorce
- Predetermine future alimony terms, should spouses get divorced
- Determine who can keep certain assets, such as inheritances
- Determine both spouses’ right to join or separate property after their marriage
Can I be forced to sign a prenuptial agreement?
It is important to understand that a prenup is an important legal document. As a result, it must meet certain requirements. In order to be considered valid, your prenuptial agreement:
- Must be in writing.
- Must be written and executed before marriage.
- Must include full disclosure of both spouse’s assets.
- Will have to be notarized
- Will have to be fair and just to both spouses
- Can have no evidence of coercion or deceit
A prenuptial agreement must be signed voluntarily. As a result, you cannot be forced to sign a prenuptial agreement. If you feel like you are being pressured into an agreement with which you are not comfortable, it is important to reach out to an experienced family law attorney to discuss your options, their legal ramifications, and more.
What if there is evidence of coercion?
If there is evidence that a prenuptial agreement was not signed voluntarily, it cannot be held up in court, and therefore cannot be used in your divorce. This can cause numerous issues. For example, assets that had been kept separate by a prenup can suddenly become marital property and therefore be subject to the process of equitable distribution. This can lead to a long, stressful, and difficult litigation process. As a result, it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney to ensure that your prenup meets the necessary requirements.
If you are interested in creating a prenuptial agreement, contact our firm today to discuss.
Contact our experienced Bristol County firm
If you need help through a contested divorce or with any other family law matter, contact The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. for a consultation today.