Prenuptial Agreements

Pre NupMost newlyweds to-be shy away from the topic of prenuptial agreements – discussing a prenup with your future bride or groom can be awkward, uncomfortable, and even embarrassing. Prenuptial agreements, though, aren’t just for those with millions of dollars; instead, a prenuptial agreement can be useful for anyone planning on tying the knot. If you’re planning a wedding in Massachusetts, attorney Michael F. Mimno can help guide you through your options for planning what happens to your assets and for controlling a spousal support obligation in the event of a divorce.

What is a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that details what will happen to the assets and property of a spouse in the event of a divorce.  They may also define future spousal obligations in the event of a divorce.

Prenuptial agreements are also commonly referred to as spousal agreements, or as antenuptial agreements. Massachusetts’s constitutions recognizes that parties (to be married) may enter into a written contract (prenuptial agreement) that stipulates how property will be allocated at the termination of the marriage and whether spousal support shall be paid, and the terms of the contract must be adhered to.

A prenuptial agreement can cover a number of assets and property types. For example, a prenuptial agreement in Massachusetts may detail what will happen to a business at the termination of a marriage, how retirement benefits will be divided, how taxes will be filed, how joint bank accounts and household expenses will be managed, how future education will be paid for, what will happen to property in the event of the death of one spouse, how certain items will be purchased (such as a house or vehicle), and any other financial matters.  A prenuptial agreement may also address whether spousal support, otherwise known as alimony, shall be paid. A prenuptial agreement cannot be used to detail personal, non-financial matters, such as the chores or duties a spouse must perform.

Rules for Creating a Prenuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement can be beneficial to both parties in a marriage in the event that a divorce does occur. If you and your future spouse are in agreement about pursuing a prenuptial agreement, here are the guidelines for do so:

  • The agreement must be equitable for both parties
  • Both parties have been honest about their total worth/value of assets, income and liabilities
  • Both parties agree to the prenuptial contract freely and willingly, aware of the rights they would have had outside of the contract

In other words, creating a legal prenuptial agreement requires that matters included be kept to financial affairs alone, the agreement be fair, the agreement be pursued with accurate information, and both parties sign the agreement of their own free will.

Seek Legal Help Now

In order to make sure that you sign a prenuptial agreement that is fair and beneficial for you, an experienced divorce attorney can help. The law offices of Michael F. Mimno can provide you with the legal expertise you’re looking for. Call us today at 978-470-4567.