For many lucky couples, February marks St. Valentine’s day and often a proposal for marriage. If you are engaged to be married or strongly considering a proposal, you should consider whether your financial or family status warrants a prenuptial agreement. The first step in this process is consulting with a qualified divorce lawyer and family law attorney to learn about your rights and obligations.
A prenuptial agreement or “prenup” is a written contract between two people who intend to marry that provides for the division of assets, treatment of income, and payment or non-payment of alimony or spousal support should the marriage end in divorce.
Prenuptial agreements also known as antenuptial agreements are more common than you might think. Prenuptial agreements can serve specific purposes that can help individuals regardless of their financial means, and are highly recommended for:
- elderly couples where at least one or both partners have been widowed or previously divorced
- couples where at least one or both partners were previously married, especially if there are children from prior marriages or relationships
- parties who own a business
Prenuptial Agreements often provide for the following in the event of divorce:
- the waiver of alimony or spousal support
- the amount of alimony or spousal support or other divorce related payments
- the identification of pre-marital or separate property that will not be part of the divorce
- waivers of interests in the other spouse’s probate estate or retirement benefits
Including agreements regarding child related issues such as child support, child custody, or child visitation is not recommended, as they are generally unenforceable during a subsequent divorce.
It is much less stressful to discuss a prenuptial agreement before setting a wedding date. If you wish to learn more about obtaining a prenuptial agreement in Massachusetts or have been approached to sign an agreement and wish to learn more about your rights from a divorce attorney and family law lawyer, please call me at 617-431-8071 to schedule a consultation.