What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

Some people spend months planning for their marriage. Marriage is a beautiful thing, and it is a big step in our lives. However, divorce is also a huge step, which is why you should consider taking some time to plan for it as well. Divorce is something that nobody ever wants to go through, but if you do not have a backup plan in place, you may find yourself in serious financial trouble. Thankfully, you may avoid this scenario altogether if you establish a prenuptial agreement with your spouse-to-be. If this sounds like something that may interest you, here are some of the questions you may have:

What are the benefits of a prenuptial agreement?

While there are several specific issues you may wish to cover in your prenuptial agreement, the main purpose of any prenuptial agreement is to preserve your assets and avoid the litigation process. The litigation process is often far more time consuming, more emotionally stressful, and you very rarely get the end results you hoped for. On top of all this, you may even protect your family’s inheritance, which is a big deal to many people seeking a divorce. Here are some of the additional terms you may settle in a prenuptial agreement:

  • The handling and ownership of life insurance policies
  • How property will be divided in the event of separation, death, divorce, or any other circumstances
  • Potential child custody or visitation issues
  • How spousal support will be handled if you separate or get divorced
  • The rights of both spouses to buy, sell, use, manage, or transfer specific assets or properties of the marriage
  • The rights of both spouses to join and separate property during or after their marriage
  • And other issues concerning personal rights and obligations

How do I know if a prenuptial agreement is valid?

There are five primary qualifications for any valid prenuptial agreement. They are as follows:

  • Prenuptial agreements must always be in writing
  • Prenuptial agreements must be executed before marriage
  • Prenuptial agreements must include a full disclosure at the time of execution
  • Prenuptial agreements must be notarized
  • Prenuptial agreements must be fair and just for you and your spouse

To ensure your prenuptial agreement is valid, do yourself a favor and hire an experienced attorney to walk you through the process. If you are already married and have not yet drafted a prenuptial agreement, you are not at a total loss. You may still draft a postnuptial agreement with your spouse. A postnuptial agreement will serve the same purpose as a prenuptial agreement, the only main difference being it is drafted after marriage. 

Contact our Massachusetts firm

If you require compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance for a matter of divorce, family or estate law, please contact the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley today. Our firm proudly serves clients in Mansfield, Massachusetts and throughout Bristol County.