As previously discussed on this Worcester family law blog, prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements offer a wide range of benefits. Massachusetts family law attorneys routinely help clients draft these marital agreements both before and after a marriage. While many couples may hesitate to engage in talks regarding marital agreements, these can actually help foster communication and full disclosure when it comes to a marriage.
Planning for the future in this manner can help the viability of a marriage. Numerous studies have found that disputes over money are the top reason for divorce in the country. Open communication is vital to ensure both husband and wife has realistic expectations when it comes to money and their financial future.
Before entering into a marital agreement, one of the first things a family law attorney will have a couple do is list out all their existing property and values. All debt will also need to be listed. This will give a clear picture of a couple’s financial situation. Prenuptial agreements are advisable in many situations. These types of agreements clearly provide for distribution of property in the event of divorce.
The stigma associated with marital agreements is virtually a thing of the past — so is the concept that these agreements are only for the rich and famous. Prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements can be tailored to fit each couple’s unique situation. As long as the clauses in the agreement are within the parameters of the law, nearly anything can be provided for.
One of the most common uses of marital agreements is to provide for the separation of property in the event of divorce. This can include separate property, appreciation of assets, pensions and retirement plans and even business assets. Clauses regarding the payment of alimony can be provided for, as well as items such as a fidelity clause. Each marital agreement is as unique as the couple contemplating to enter into the agreement.
Source: Main Street, “Engaged? You might need money therapy,” Kelly Trageser, July 3, 2013