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Prenuptial agreements may not be enforceable in certain scenarios

Sometimes, marriages do not last, no matter how hard two spouses try to make it work. When divorce cannot be avoided, one of the most valuable tools a couple in Massachusetts can have in their arsenal is a prenuptial agreement. However, prenuptial agreements are worthwhile only if they are created properly.

A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that essentially explains what will happen to two spouses' assets if they decide to get divorced. This type of document is created before two individuals walk down the aisle. However, if may end up not being enforceable for a variety of reasons -- for instance, if coercion was required to get one of the parties to sign the agreement.

Another reason a court may deem a prenuptial agreement illegitimate is if proof exists that both spouses, or one of them, failed to read through the agreement. These types of agreements are also generally considered unenforceable if they include invalid provisions. For instance, they may stay into such areas as the waiving of child support.

In some cases, people who decide to get divorced may not have prenuptial agreements, or they may have agreements that are considered to be unenforceable. In these situations, they may still decide to go through divorce mediation or negotiation -- alternative processes to traditional divorce litigation. The benefit of these alternative processes is that they are typically less costly and stressful than going to trial. Through these processes, a divorcing couple in Massachusetts can work toward a mutually satisfactory settlement and, thus, more quickly and amicably move on with their independent lives.

Source:, "How To 'Bust' Prenuptial Agreements", Russ Alan Prince, April 4, 2018

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