Prenuptial Agreements and
Postnuptial Marital Agreements
As more and more people marry later in life, or re-marry after divorce, they are using marital agreements to clarify their rights to marital assets should they divorce or separate. Whether prenuptial (entered into before marriage) or postnuptial (signed after marriage), couples use these agreements for a variety of reasons; to protect the rights of children from a previous marriage, responsibly manage and protect assets or shield a new spouse from the debts and liabilities of a previous relationship.
Couples can use a marital agreement to address both present and future property rights, as well as other matters related to the marriage. For example, they can agree to change the nature of separate or community property and/or waive inheritance rights or include certain provisions in a will or trust. They can also modify, or even completely give up, rights to spousal support in the event of divorce.
There are certain things a marital agreement cannot include, however, such as anything illegal or against “public policy.” This covers anything that would negatively affect a child’s right to support (although couples can agree to provide more support than the law requires). The courts also will not enforce agreements to raise children in a certain manner, such as in a certain religion, in the event of a divorce.
Couples should not view marital agreements as waiving or limiting future rights, protections and/or obligations, but as providing clarity in the event things do not play out as anticipated. Whatever your situation, the skilled and independent advice of Christine McClane Tesi can help you understand your options and draft a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that will stand up to judicial scrutiny. Ms. Tesi also helps clients who have been presented with pre-nuptial agreements and need someone to review the document with them and respond.
Ms. Tesi will help you reach an agreement that avoids unnecessary disputes in the event of a later separation or divorce. Call today to schedule a consultation or use our Contact page to email us.