Pre-Nuptial Agreements

The validity of pre-nuptial agreements in Massachusetts is determined by a two-pronged test, first with a look at whether the circumstances of the execution of the agreement and the disclosures made at that time were fair, reasonable and sufficient, and second look at the time that the validity is questioned, to determine if it is then reasonable under the parties' circumstances.

It is important that each of the parties has legal counsel at the time of the execution of the agreement and that it is negotiated and executed sufficiently before the wedding that there is not undue pressure or influence to execute it. It is equally important to have legal counsel in the event that the validity of a pre-nuptial agreement is or should be questioned.

We have had considerable experience in drafting these agreements, in arguing for their enforceability and in challenging them, and can assist you if you need legal counsel in any of these areas.

Post-Nuptial Agreements

In 2010, Massachusetts for the first time enforced a post-nuptial agreement. However, the Court was careful to say that a post-marital agreement stands on a different footing than both a pre-marital and a separation agreement in that before marriage the parties have greater freedom to reject an unsatisfactory contract and a separation agreement is negotiated when a marriage has failed and the parties intend a temporary or permanent dissolution of their marriage. Therefore, a post-nuptial agreement will be carefully scrutinized by the court relative to the circumstances of execution, including but not limited to disclosure of assets and income and whether each party has had the opportunity to obtain legal counsel of his or her own choosing.

If you are considering a post-nuptial agreement both you and your spouse should have separate legal counsel. If the validity of a post-nuptial agreement is called into question, you should also have legal counsel to assist you in either challenging or upholding the agreement and we have the knowledge and experience to represent you in these issues.