Quoting the famous Rapper, Kanye West, from his song “Gold Digger”, he goes on to say “It’s something you need to have cause when she leave your ass she gonna leave with half”, and unfortunately there is some truth to the statement.
However, there are common misconceptions about Prenuptial Agreements. Often times people believe that if they do not have any “assets” or “money” they won’t need such an agreement. Well they are wrong.
People are increasingly seeking to establish prior to marriage their respective rights and obligations in the event of the termination of their marriage—either by divorce or death—because of the nature of divorce in Massachusetts and the potential related costs (economic, emotional, and time). Premarital agreements (also called “prenuptial agreements”) are the most effective way of achieving these goals. Many times people enter into agreements before marriage that outline how property will be divided, what custodial terms will be made for the children and what alimony arrangements will take place at the time of a potential divorce. These “antenuptial” or “prenuptial” agreements are often attacked when the couple eventually files suit to dissolve their marriage.
Well, what is a Prenuptial or Premarital Agreement? A premarital agreement is a contract entered into by two individuals contemplating marriage, with the purpose of governing their respective rights at the marriage’s termination, either by death or divorce. These agreements have been particularly useful
• [/] where there is a significant premarriage disparity of assets or income between the parties;
• [/] where one party has a particular asset that he or she wishes to segregate and protect (such as a family business);
• [/] where one party has the possibility of accumulating significant assets, either by gift, inheritance, or individual endeavor (generally speaking, one person accumulates the asset without any contribution or assistance from the other); or
• [/] for individuals entering into second marriages where each party has his or her own previously accumulated assets or there is a desire to keep an estate intact to pass on to children by a prior marriage.
If you find that you are considering a premarital agreement, here are a few things you should keep in mind.
1. Make sure the prenup is “ Fair”. You don’t have to be a lawyer or legal professional to look at the terms of a contract to determine if it is unfair to you. Obviously, I suggest you retain a lawyer to help you, but if it doesn’t smell right, chances are, its spoiled.
2. Never sign a prenup or contract under duress or fraud. Was undue pressure put on one spouse to get a signature on the agreement, such as first bringing up the agreement on the eve of the wedding after many expenses have been incurred and people have traveled long distances to attend? And did the other spouse fully disclose all finances in advance of the signing of the agreement?
The circumstances that lead to most prenuptial agreements being thrown out by judges involve couples entering into the agreement just a few weeks before a wedding date that has been scheduled for many months or where there are no financial statements attached to the agreement.
Despite, however, the foregoing, I do believe prenuptial agreements, if drafted correctly, can be a positive and good thing for couples. Look at it this way or ask yourself, isn’t it best to figure out what will happen in the event of a divorce while things are good and happy? Or do you want make those decisions, when and if the marriage falls apart?
If you are facing a divorce and prenuptial agreement is going to result in your getting less than you would get without the agreement, it is time to talk to a lawyer.
Call us! We handle Divorces and an array of Family Law issues. (781)-629-5147!