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Prenuptial Agreements in Massachusetts

Prenuptial agreements can be an important tool to protect yourself and your assets going into a marriage. A premarital agreement offers transparency, and that's a good place to start a marriage.

At Lambert Legal, our family law attorney in Medford can help you understand if a prenuptial agreement is right for you. Contact us online or at 781-754-6822 to schedule a free consultation and learn more.

Prenuptial Agreements in Massachusetts

When two people are about to head down the aisle, they sometimes enter into a prenuptial agreement first. A prenuptial agreement is a before-marriage contract that lays out the specifics of what will happen to the property they own should the marriage fail. 

Prenuptial agreements in Massachusetts can be used to address many different issues, including: 

  • What property should be considered marital and what should be considered separate? Instead of having a judge decide this matter pursuant to the laws of your state, you can decide beforehand. 
  • Protections for certain property. For example, if the engagement ring is a family heirloom on the spouse's side, the parties may agree that in the event of divorce, the ring goes back to the husband.
  • You may agree that assets obtained prior to marriage should be retained and excluded from division should you get divorced. 
  • Couples can agree to waive alimony in the event of divorce.

Prenuptial agreements in Massachusetts cannot be used to address certain issues, including:

  • Custody and issues of child support are not allowed to be addressed in prenuptial agreements. The court will determine what is in the child's best interest, not the parents.
  • Courts do not like provisions that address personal rather than financial issues. For example, a prenuptial agreement should not contain a provision stating where the parties will spend their Christmases.
  • A prenuptial agreement should not be used to address anything that is illegal. For example, if the family earns money through the sale of illegal drugs, who gets that business in case of divorce is not allowed to be addressed.

There are strict requirements when drafting a premarital agreement in Massachusetts:

  • In Massachusetts the court applies a "two look test" to determine if a prenuptial agreement is valid.  The court will determine if the agreement was fair and reasonable at the time the agreement was signed and if it is "conscionable" at the time of divorce.  An agreement that is significantly lopsided so as to deplete one spouse of any of the marital estate or leaves one party without sufficient property, maintenance, or appropriate employment to support him/herself would not be conscionable and the court would likely find the agreement to be invalid.
  • To create an enforceable agreement there must be "fair disclosure" where both parties fully and accurately disclose their financial status, including a specific listing of all assets, income, and liabilities. 
  • The agreement must contain a waiver where both parties understand that their marital rights if they were to get divorced without a prenuptial agreement in place and those rights are altered by entering into a premarital agreement. 
  • The parties are strongly advised to each have independent legal representation.   

Who Should Have a Prenuptial Agreement in Massachusetts?

While many people can benefit from the use of a prenuptial agreement, it is especially beneficial for people in the following situations:

  • If you own a business, it is a good idea to look into a prenuptial agreement. This helps protect the business in case of divorce. 
  • If you own significant assets, a prenuptial agreement is a good idea to keep them protected.
  • If you have children from a previous marriage, a prenuptial agreement can assist in protecting the inheritance of those children.

Contrary to popular opinion, prenuptial agreements aren't just for the wealthy. They can provide needed protection to people from all walks of life. 

Contact a Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer in Medford Today

Protecting your assets and family is important. Make sure your prenuptial agreement is valid and that it is in compliance with the applicable law in Massachusetts.

At Lambert Legal, our family law lawyer will review, draft, and negotiate a prenuptial agreement on your behalf, ensuring that your interests and rights are heard and upheld. Contact us either online or directly at 781-754-6822 to schedule a Free Consultation.

Areas We Serve

Lambert Legal is a family law and divorce firm in Medford, Massachusetts. We serve clients throughout the Middlesex County area including Winchester, Somerville, Cambridge, Malden, Arlington, Woburn, Burlington, Boston, Essex County, and Suffolk County. Call For Free Consultation: 781-754-6822