A prenuptial agreement (also called an antenuptial or premarital agreement) is a contract between two individuals who want to marry each other. It spells out the financial rights of the spouses and how their assets and liabilities are to be divided in the event of a divorce.
Signing a prenup can reduce financial tensions in the marriage and ensure fairness in dividing assets and liabilities in the event of a divorce. It can also make the divorce process less complicated and significantly lower the risks of a protracted legal battle.
If you are planning to get married and want to draft a prenuptial agreement or if you want to modify an existing agreement, the committed and robust Massachusetts prenuptial agreement lawyers at Davis Law Group, led by attorney Jay Davis, can help you.
We can draft an agreement that is perfectly suited for your financial needs and goals as a couple and advise you on all the issues related to prenups. Contact us today to talk to one of our seasoned Massachusetts prenup lawyers — lawyers who have been through the legal battlefields before and know how to survive under serious strain.
Issues Covered in a Prenup Under Massachusetts Law
A prenuptial agreement can cover important financial issues including:
- Division of marital property
- Division of debts and liabilities
- Protection of gifts, inheritances, and property acquired prior to marriage
- Spousal support
- Financial support for children from previous marriages
Does Massachusetts Law Allow Prenups to Cover Child Custody and Child Support?
While the law does not explicitly prohibit people from including terms on child custody, visitation, and child support in their prenuptial agreement, the court will generally stray away from enforcing these issues — depending on the circumstances.
For example, the court is required to take the best interests of the child into account while making child custody and visitation decisions. It would be difficult, if not impossible to determine what is in the best interest of a child who has not yet been born, in a future divorce scenario.
Similarly, child support is determined by the court based on the parent’s income and the child’s needs. If the prenup includes a child support waiver or if the amount specified in the prenup is considerably lower compared to what the parent is required to pay under the law, the court will decide not to enforce that specific part of the prenup.
Should Prenuptial Agreements Be Drafted by a Lawyer?
Ideally, yes. While you are not legally required to hire a lawyer to draft your prenup, it is strongly recommended that you do so. Drafting a prenup on your own is not advisable, since you might not be aware of all the relevant laws, and you might end up making mistakes due to which your agreement might be considered invalid or unenforceable.
At Davis Law Group, our legal team led by highly-rated prenuptial agreement attorney Jay Davis has extensive knowledge and experience in drafting and modifying prenuptial agreements. We can help ensure that the terms of the agreement are legally enforceable and tailor-made for your needs.
Second Look Standard for Prenups in Massachusetts
Under Massachusetts law, a prenup can be considered valid only if it was fair and reasonable to both spouses at the time it was signed and if it’s fair and reasonable to them at the time of divorce.
The court is required to take a second look at the agreement and re-evaluate it at the time of divorce to make sure all terms are conscionable. If the agreement is found to be unfair to one of the spouses during the reevaluation, it will not be enforced.
Consider the following scenario: Your spouse signs a spousal support waiver, as they have a high-paying job. After marriage, your spouse decides to quit their job to focus on raising the child.
You and your spouse decide to file for divorce after 10 years of marriage. Your spouse does not have a job or any savings of their own. Their health has also deteriorated badly and the only way for them to sustain themselves after the divorce is to go on welfare.
In the aforementioned scenario, the court will most likely strike down the spousal support waiver clause and will order you to provide financial support to your spouse.
Reasons a Prenuptial Agreement Might Be Considered Invalid Under Massachusetts Law
- The prenup is not in writing.
- One of the spouses signed the agreement under duress or was coerced or pressured by the other spouse or any other third party.
- One or both of the spouses failed to disclose all the required financial information or provided false information.
- One or more of the terms of the agreement are found unconscionable on “second look” by the court.
- Legally invalid provisions have been included in the prenuptial agreement.
Choose Experienced Massachusetts Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys You Can Trust
If you are planning to get married and want to sign a prenup, the skilled and experienced prenuptial agreement attorney Jay Davis is ready to help you. We can create a prenuptial agreement that protects your financial rights and accurately reflects your financial interests and ensure an equitable distribution of assets in the event of a divorce. Call Davis Law Group today at (617) 752-6216 or get in touch with us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our dedicated Massachusetts prenup lawyers.The post Have You Considered a Prenuptial Agreement for Your Upcoming Marriage in Massachusetts? first appeared on Davis Law Group.