Readers of our Massachusetts blog may be interested to know there are numerous benefits to marital agreements, despite the stigma associated with these documents in the past. Many people view these agreements as planning for a divorce, however that is rarely the case. After speaking to a Massachusetts family law attorney, couples may discover that these documents are actually a beneficial tool to keep a marriage harmonious and assets and investments organized.
Marital agreements come in many shapes and forms. A prenuptial agreement is an agreement entered into by a couple prior to their marriage. It can account for any number of items, including separate and marital property and protecting one spouse from the other's debts. Prenuptial agreements may also provide for ownership of investments and business assets. They can help to ensure family property such as heirlooms or antiques are kept within the family and may even include a clause for the waiver of alimony.
Another option for Worcester couples is a post-nuptial agreement. These agreements are entered into after a couple has been married. As with prenuptial agreements, these documents can provide a structured plan for marital assets, debts and items acquired after the marriage -- such as an inheritance. Virtually anything within the bounds of the law can be provided for in a pre- or post-nuptial agreement. These documents allow couples to create a plan that is completely unique to their situation.
Of course, in the event of a divorce these agreements can be extremely useful. For example, it has been reported that racecar driver Danica Patrick and her husband recently filed for divorce. The couple entered into a prenuptial agreement, which will assist them in streamlining the dissolution process and aide in developing a settlement agreement.
The decision to enter into a marital agreement depends on several factors, and is a very personal decision.
Source: Fox Sports, "Reports: Patrick has filed for divorce," Jan. 14, 2013