A prenuptial agreement (“prenup”) or ante nuptial is one of the most important documents that couples can execute before their marriage. In the event of a divorce, a prenup allows parties to define the terms of an agreement in a potential divorce. The terms that can be agreed upon include the division of assets, liabilities, gifts, inheritance and spousal support (alimony). Get to know the difference below between postnup vs prenup in details.
It is a common misconception that prenuptial agreements are only needed in situations in which one party enters the marriage with significantly more assets than the other or expects to inherit assets from their family . Since a prenuptial agreement states what happens to marital and separate property at the time of divorce, the mere process of entering into the agreement results in the parties having an honest discussion before the marriage regarding their finances. Further, a requirement of the pre-nuptial agreement is a full disclosure of assets. The financial disclosures of each party before the marriage helps alleviate economic uncertainty down the road. Keep in mind that marriage is not only an emotion and legal bond; it’s a financial merger of two entities (you and your soon-to-be spouse) as well!
Read below to learn more about prenup vs postnup agreements, and how the Law Office of Wyckoff Nissenbaum can help you handle a potentially uncomfortable or contentious process with care and professionalism. If you have any questions and would like to schedule a consultation, call us at (617) 410-6467 or click the link at the bottom of this page to self-schedule a consultation.
A prenuptial agreement is an enforceable legal agreement that supersedes the state’s divorce laws. It allows the parties to determine the division of assets and spousal support in the case of a divorce, claim for separate support, annulment, or death.
The difference is the timing in which the document is executed. If we differentiate postnup vs prenup agreements, unlike a prenuptial agreement, postnuptial agreements are executed after the parties are married.
Beginning the process of drafting a prenuptial agreement can be daunting. A prenup may have negative implications or connotations: “Why does this person want to draft a prenup? Does this person think I’m a gold-digger? Does this person think we will inevitably get divorced?” You can mention to your partner that a prenup is not a signof a doomed marriage. The process of clearly disclosing each party’s respective financial situations before a marriage is a great way to start a new life stage on the right foot. Prenups serve as clarification during unforeseen situations. (i.e., What happens to one partner’s pre-marital debt if the other partner dies?) A prenup is useful in any case, as all marriages end eventually (either by divorce or death).
A prenuptial agreement can last until the end of a marriage by divorce, annulment, or death. Depending on their wishes, the parties can agree that a prenuptial agreement will only last for a specific duration or until a specific event occurs (i.e. until the parties are married for 10 years and have children).
To ensure that the agreement is found by the Court to be valid and enforceable it is highly suggested that both parties have individual counsel (ie, not the same lawyer).
The court always retains jurisdiction over matters regarding the children. The agreement can include terms regarding the children, but the court will ultimately determine what is in the best interests of the children at the time of separation.
Prenups can include a wide variety of issues. The most popular topics that are covered by a prenup includes:
Since pre-nuptial agreements are only enforced at the time of divorce, the only certainty that it is enforced will be at the time of divorce. The Massachusetts courts have established factors to determine when an agreement is enforceable. Below are several common instances that may invalidate an agreement:
Your prenup deserves the attention and care of an experienced Attorney. Call the Law Office of Wyckoff Nissenbaum at (617) 410-6467 to schedule a free consultation.