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Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

Overview

Properly negotiated prenuptial agreement documents and postnuptial agreement documents are important financial planning tools that allow both parties to maximize their wealth. You should be aware that pre-formatted prenuptial agreement forms and postnuptial agreement forms do not offer the same level of protection, or account for the unique characteristics of each marital situation.

Most people are aware of prenuptial agreements: they are a way for spouses coming into a marriage to forego many of their legal rights in their spouse’s property in the event of a divorce or death. Prenuptial agreements are entered into before the marriage. Postnuptial agreements are less well known. Postnuptial agreements are entered into after a marriage. In the past, the Courts have hesitated to uphold those agreements. However, the current trend is to find that they are not invalid per se if they are intended to promote harmonious marital relations and the agreement does not encourage separation by leaving one party in a much more favorable position if the marriage ended.

Experience

Smith Haughey family law attorneys are skilled at preparing, reviewing and negotiating both prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements. These agreements can be designed to anticipate how premarital, inherited and separate assets will be allocated in the event of divorce. They may also address concerns specific to families with children from previous marriages and/or relationships. Other prenuptial and postnuptial agreement Issues:

    Identification of marital versus separate assets and income
    Inheritance and estate planning considerations
    Future support of spouse and children
    Full disclosure of existing assets and debts
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