Your initial reaction to a pre-nuptial agreement may be that it takes away from the romance of a marriage and is only for couples who expect to get divorced.  However, a pre-nuptial agreement (or post-nuptial agreement) can be a valuable planning tool for many couples who are contemplating a marriage or are already married.  A pre- or post-nuptial agreement is an agreement that a couple enters into either right before marriage or at some point during their marriage and most commonly addresses assets and alimony.  There are two common situations where a couple may consider entering into a pre- or post-nuptial agreement.  These are:

  1. The parties have been married before and have acquired assets that they wish to leave to their children; or

  2. One, or both, of the parties entering into the marriage have acquired considerable wealth by work or inheritance and they want to protect that wealth should the marriage not work out or so it can be left to current immediate family members.

          As more individuals are waiting until after they have established a career before getting married, and more individuals are finding themselves in second marriages, the desire to protect what you have worked hard for and the wisdom of planning ahead to take care of your children is prevalent.  The experienced attorneys at Bullwinkel & Brooks can help you decide if a pre- or post-nuptial agreement is a wise decision and carefully and meticulously draft one to protect you and your family.  It is very important for the language of the pre- or post-nuptial agreement to be precise and for the appropriate procedure to be followed, because, in Massachusetts, upon divorce a court must review the agreement for fairness both at the time it was made and at the time of the divorce. 

          Two important points with regards to pre- or post-nuptial agreements in Massachusetts are that, first, they are not ironclad, and second, parents cannot bargain away the rights of their children.

          If you would like to discuss your present circumstances, learn what your rights would be and whether a pre- or post-nuptial agreement is right for your unique situation, or if your future or current spouse has addressed the issue with you and you are in need of assistance, please call or email us and arrange for a free consultation with one of our domestic relations attorneys.