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Prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements in high asset marriages

Divorce and post-divorce matters are only a few of the areas of law focused on by family law attorneys. Massachusetts family law attorneys also assist couples in asset planning through marital agreements, both before and after marriage. Prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements have become increasingly common in our society as the stigma related to these agreements has diminished over the past decades. These agreements have also become more common as the traditional view of men as the primary breadwinners is no longer a reality in many Massachusetts households.

Marital agreements can benefit all couples, but they are especially beneficial for high-net-worth marriages. Special considerations must be addressed should there be an irrevocable breakdown of the marriage. A prenuptial agreement can be used to help protect the assets of each spouse in the event of divorce. The agreement can take into consideration existing property and the appreciation of assets. It can help each spouse from losing an unfair portion of their assets. Marital agreements can also help streamline the divorce process by accounting for what is separate and marital property.

Although not romantic, many couples view these types of agreements as a business plan should the marriage end in divorce. It can save significant time, stress and money by avoiding unnecessary litigation. The extra money saved can certainly be put towards better uses, such as retirement planning and care for children of the marriage.

In the event a couple does not enter into a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage, post-nuptial agreements are always an option. Post-nuptial agreements can account for the same items as prenups. There are several requirements that must be met in order for these agreements to be considered legally enforceable. An experienced family law attorney can assist in the drafting of an enforceable marital agreement, despite the unique circumstances presented in each case.

Source: Forbes, "Divorcing women: when you earn more than your husband," Jeff Landers, April 10, 2013

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