What Is A Post-Nuptial Agreement?
Most people have heard of prenuptial agreements. Have you heard of postnuptial agreements? It is possible to create, agree, and sign a written agreement after a couple gets married to help settle affairs and assets in case of divorce.
A Postnuptial Agreement may include:
· Division of property in the event of divorce or death
· Spousal support in the even to divorce
· Division of debt and liabilities in the event of divorce or death
In Massachusetts, it was not until Ansin vs. Craven-Ansin, 457 Mass. 283 (2010) that a Massachusetts Court determined that a postnuptial agreement could be enforced. In that case, the court determined that:
· A postnuptial agreement does not violate public policy and may be enforced
· The agreement must be scrutinized by a judge to determine whether each party had an opportunity to obtain separate legal counsel of that party’s own choosing; and whether there was fraud or coercion in obtaining the agreement.
· Whether all assets were fully disclosed by both parties before the agreement was executed, prior to signing, provided the other party obtained a written statement accurately listing (i) his or her significant assets and their total approximate market value; (ii) his or her approximate annual income, and (iii) any significant future acquisitions or changes in income to which the party has a current legal entitlement, or which the party reasonably expects to realize in the near future. This disclosure need not to be exact, but approximate to the value of the assets
· Whether each spouse knowingly and explicitly agreed in writing to waive the right to a judicial equitable division of assets and other marital rights in the event of a divorce
· Whether the terms of the agreement were fair and reasonable at the time of execution and remain so at the time of divorce.
After reviewing these points from this case, if you feel you are considering a postnuptial agreement, please do not hesitate to contact Fernandez, Socci & Nieves Family Law so our legal team can help you choose the right strategy for you.
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