Pre-Marital & Post-Marital Agreements

Many Couples think it Prudent to Map out their Future

Pre-Marital Agreements can offer additional peace of mind and financial security to the prospective spouses by removing any anxiety or unpredictability regarding the future.

Pre-Marital agreements sometimes called Pre-Nuptial agreements, enable parties entering a marriage to lay out — in advance — how issues such as property division and the payment of any future support will be handled in the event of a legal separation or divorce.

  • A Pre-Marital Agreement is, obviously, prepared prior to a legal marriage.
  • A Post-Marital Agreement can be crafted any time during a marriage.
  • A similar agreement, known as a “Cohabitation Agreement,” can be prepared for couples who choose to live together without formalizing their relationship as a legal marriage.

Couples working with Family Law Attorney Laurence Haines on a Pre-Marital, Post-Marital or Cohabitation Agreement are encouraged to include a plan for future rights and disposition of property and assets upon the death of one of the spouses. This can be accomplished by having us complete their Wills and Trusts in conjunction with their Pre or Post-Marital Agreements.

How to Break a Pre-Marital Agreement

It isn’t easy to fight or break a Pre-Marital agreement, but many of these documents are not well-drafted or are otherwise susceptible to failure when carefully examined and dissected.

A premarital agreement can be broken if we can prove that you did not enter into the agreement voluntarily and that the agreement was “unconscionable” when it was executed.

The court may agree with you and find the a premarital agreement to be unconscionable and therefore unenforceable for a number of reasons, including:

  • Were you given a fair, reasonable and full disclosure of the property or finances of the other party?
  • Was it somehow impossible for you to have had adequate knowledge of your spouse’s assets and debts?
  • Were you advised of your right to be represented by an independent attorney at the time you signed the prenuptial agreement?
  • After being advised of your right to be represented by independent legal counsel, did you sign a document waiving this right?
  • Did you have adequate time to seek a legal counsel?
  • Were you fully informed of the terms of the agreement and the rights and obligations you were surrendering by signing the agreement?

We will perform a thorough analysis of your situation, including the potential costs and benefits of taking your case to court. Sometimes, it might be in your best interest to have us negotiate or mediate a fair settlement agreement, using the willingness of proceeding to a court trial as a powerful negotiating tool. Many people will be willing to negotiate an equitable settlement to keep these private matters out of court.

Childs Law ~ Vanessa Childs, Esq.

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