After much discussion and reflection, many couples decide to pursue a prenuptial agreement before marriage. At McGowan & Associates, we understand this is a highly personal and private decision. Our Plymouth County estate planning attorneys are here to guide you and prepare an agreement that protects your best interests.
Prenuptial agreements are commonly referred to as premarital agreements. In Massachusetts, the legal term is antenuptial agreement and these are governed by the following statutes: M.G.L. c 209 § 25 and M.G.L. c 209 § 26. Under these statutes, couples have the right to enter into a written contract prior to marriage. This contract outlines the property each spouse brings into the marriage and wants to preserve should the marriage end.
Should a couple divorce, a pre-nuptial can ease some pain and suffering, as major issues concerning financial assets and property have already been decided. There are also more immediate benefits. Prenuptial agreements can help establish a solid foundation for a couple to start a happy marriage upon.
When to Consider a Prenuptial Agreement
While no one wants to think about divorce, planning can help you and your partner protect your future and financial assets. The end of a marriage will certainly impact both partners, but also your loved ones and children, if you are a parent.
When couples consider marriage, they have to consider their finances. Each partner may bring different financial responsibilities into the marriage, including children from a previous relationship, student loans and business or personal debt. One partner may also have their own business and employees to protect.
One person may also enter into the marriage with more significant financial assets – such as a financial trust or an inheritance – or real estate they want to protect. This may include a person’s primary residence purchased prior to the marriage or their ownership interest in a shared family vacation property.
You can lose a great deal emotionally and financially in a divorce. A prenuptial agreement can help you protect these assets for yourself and future generations of your family.
Preparing an Enforceable Prenuptial Agreement
Should you and your partner divorce, you will likely request that your prenuptial agreement be enforced. A Massachusetts court will review the agreement to make sure it is fair and reasonable when it was signed and at the time of the divorce. The agreement should not heavily favor one partner.
The court will also check to see if both partners were represented by their own lawyer. This is a critical element to demonstrate the parties both understood the agreement and that neither was coerced into signing.
The agreement must also be built upon true statements. Each person has a responsibility to disclose their actual income and finances. Our attorneys are experienced at conducting thorough reviews of financial assets and properly recording the assets with the Massachusetts Registry of Deeds.
McGowan & Associates – Call 781-261-9977
South Shore Estate Planning Lawyers – South Shore Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers
At McGowan & Associates, our lawyers are experienced and well-versed in Massachusetts estate planning laws. We understand every couple has a unique partnership and we can help you write a prenup that truly addresses your needs and protects all your financial assets or just certain assets if you wish.
To schedule an appointment with our attorneys, please call 781-261-9977.
Our Plymouth County estate planning lawyers assist individuals, families and businesses across Massachusetts. We represent clients across Plymouth County, including in Plymouth, Carver, Marshfield, Scituate, Rockland, Norwell, Kingston, Duxbury and Hingham.