Do Prenups Work?
The short answer is yes, prenuptial agreements (or “prenups”) are legal and enforceable in Connecticut, as long as you do them correctly.
Read on to learn more.
What is a Prenup?
A prenup allows future spouses to decide and determine what will happen to their finances at the end of their marriage — whether that marriage ends by death or by divorce. A premarital agreement allows future spouses to delineate both (1) how they will divide property and (2) whether there will be any alimony and, if so, how much and for how long. Otherwise put, Connecticut prenups essentially allow future spouses to “opt out” of Connecticut’s default approach to alimony and property division, and instead “opt in” to a design of their own making.
Read: What is a Prenup?
What Can’t You Do in a Prenup?
You can’t predecide everything in a prenup, there are some limitations on what a prenup can’t cover. Here are some of the main ones:
- Prenups can’t decide child custody or child support.
If your marriage ends in divorce, the court will have the final word in matters of child custody and child support.
- Prenuptial agreements can’t encourage divorce.
Prenups should not encourage divorce in their language or structure.
- A prenup can’t have rules about non-financial matters.
You may want to have a discussion with your soon-to-be spouse about household chores, raising children, changing last names, using birth control, and caring for pets before marriage—but generally speaking, these details don’t belong in your prenuptial agreement.
- It can’t promote unconscionable or illegal activities.
No surprise here. As with most contracts, your prenuptial agreement cannot include anything illegal.
How Do You Make Sure Your Prenup Will Work?
One major key to your prenuptial agreement is making sure it will work in the event of a divorce. This is a dynamic area of the law, and Freed Marcroft’s prenup attorneys are well-versed in prenup enforceability. For example, courts are most likely to enforce your prenup if:
- Both parties received a fair and reasonable disclosure of the amount, character and value of property, income and financial liabilities prior to signing the agreement.
- You both entered into the agreement voluntarily and without force or duress.
- Both parties had a reasonable opportunity to obtain the advice and guidance of independent legal counsel.
- The agreement is not so one-sided that it was unconscionable when you entered into it. It also cannot be unconscionable if and when someone seeks to enforce it.
- You both signed the document in the presence of a notary public.
Our first step at Freed Marcroft, the Goals & Planning Conference, is designed to get to the heart of your situation and unveil your true goals. Then, we take those goals along with the facts of your case and analyze them so that our family law attorneys can present you with recommendations and options on how to move forward.