When two people get married, they join their lives together. This often means combining finances. It also means bringing their families together. While this can be a wonderful thing, it can also be complicated, and parents and children do not always see eye to eye. Things can get especially complex when it comes to decisions like creating a prenuptial agreement. So, what happens if you and your future in-laws cannot come to an agreement about a prenup? Can they force you to sign one? Read on for more information.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that declares how a couple’s assets will be split in the event that their marriage ends due to death, divorce, or separation. Because of this, many couples avoid signing prenups. In some cases, a family may have a business, inheritance, or property that they want to keep within their family in the event of a divorce. So, in some cases, parents may try to pressure their child or the child’s fiancé to sign a prenuptial agreement. It is important to know that the decision to create and sign a prenup is up to you and your partner alone.
What Makes a Prenup Valid in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, in order for a prenuptial agreement to be considered valid, it will have to meet certain requirements. These requirements include:
- All prenuptial agreements must be in writing.
- They must be written and executed before marriage.
- They must include full disclosure of both spouse’s assets.
- They will have to be notarized–must like many other legal documents.
- They will have to be fair and just to both spouses, and there must be no evidence of coercion or deceit.
Can I Be Forced to Sign a Prenup?
Because a prenuptial agreement must be signed with no evidence of coercion or deceit, you cannot be forced to sign a prenup. If you were to sign a prenup under these circumstances, you may be able to contest the prenup later on. That being said, it may be beneficial to have an open and honest discussion with your partner and his or her parents. Getting everyone’s feelings out in the open is important, especially when it comes time to join two families together. You may want to have a mediator at this discussion to help ensure that everything goes smoothly.
If you have any questions or concerns about prenuptial agreements, contact our firm today to speak with a skilled family law attorney.
Contact our Firm
For over 30 years, The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. has provided quality legal support and representation for clients in Bristol County and all of Massachusetts. Our firm’s experience eases the stress of clients while providing the legal services they deserve. If you need help through a contested divorce, contact The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. for a consultation today.