Marital agreements are contracts couples form with each other to determine how they’ll handle their finances should they decide to divorce. A Connecticut marital agreements lawyer from Freed Marcroft can work with you to put your expectations down in writing.
Types of Marital Agreements
Each party should have an independent attorney review an agreement before signing it, or the divorce court might find the contract unenforceable.
A couple enters a prenup before they get married, typically describing the assets each spouse wants to keep separate from joint marital property. A prenup might also describe how each spouse will contribute to the household and how you will divide marital property if the marriage ends.
Couples who are already married enter a postnuptial agreement for many reasons, including when there is a significant change in their financial circumstances. For example, a couple with differing attitudes toward money could use a postnup to lay ground rules about managing your assets and how you intend to divide your assets in the event of a divorce.
A legal separation requires a formal court order, just like a dissolution. Your separation agreement could include child custody agreements, alimony payments, which spouse will live in the family home, and how you will divide your joint property. The primary difference between a legal separation and a divorce is that separated spouses cannot remarry. A separation agreement can form the basis of a divorce order should you decide to dissolve your marriage.
Requirements for All Marital Agreements
Any marital agreement must follow specific guidelines to be valid, and both parties must enter the agreement willingly. For example, the divorce court could invalidate any agreement if one spouse exerts undue pressure or coerces the other. Similarly, both parties must fully disclose their assets and debts before entering a marital contract since you can’t decide whether an agreement is fair unless you have an accurate picture of the other party’s financial position.
A Connecticut attorney should review any marital agreements, and both parties must sign them in writing.
Enforcement of Unfair Agreements
While the divorce court will not enforce a marital agreement that overwhelmingly favors one party at the expense of the other, it might still enforce an agreement that seems unfair but not unconscionably so. A Connecticut marital contract attorney can explain the factors the divorce court examines when deciding whether to enforce an agreement.
In a divorce, one spouse may challenge a signed marital agreement. The divorce court will first review the agreement to ensure it meets all legal requirements for a valid contract when written and any statutory requirements. For example, with a postnup, the divorce court will consider the agreement’s impact at the time of the divorce: If your circumstances have changed and enforcing the agreement would be unconscionable, the divorce court could decline to implement it.
Turn to a Connecticut Marital Agreements Attorney for Help
Marital agreements can help you develop reasonable financial expectations while married, making a potential divorce easier. However, these legal contracts have significant implications, and signing one without counsel is unwise.
A Connecticut marital agreements lawyer can advise you on what to include in an agreement, draft the document, or review one you are considering. Schedule a consultation with a Freed Marcroft team member today.