Married couples sometimes create a postnuptial contract regarding their property or financial arrangements. As with any other marital agreement, postnups must meet specific legal requirements or aren’t enforceable. The standard for a postnup is higher than that for a prenup. For example, the postnuptial agreement must comply with the principles of contract law. They must also be fair and equitable at the time of execution and can’t be unconscionable at the time of dissolution. Couples who prepare an agreement without legal advice could later find that the divorce court might not honor it.
When considering a written formal agreement with your spouse, seek advice from a Connecticut postnuptial agreements lawyer. At Freed Marcroft, we’ll ensure the contract accomplishes your goals in a way the divorce court will enforce.
Reasons To Create a Postnuptial Agreement
Couples choose to enter a postnuptial agreement for many reasons, including:
- Spouses want to manage their finances separately
- A couple disagrees about financial issues and wants to formalize a resolution
- One spouse has given up or postponed a career and wants to enhance their financial security
- One spouse enters a business partnership, and the other wants insulation from risk
- One spouse owns a successful business and wants to protect the asset in case of disability or death
- A couple wants to commit specific resources to the continuing care of a disabled child or stepchild
Almost any development significantly affecting a couple’s finances could spur them to call a Connecticut postnuptial agreement lawyer. However, the divorce court won’t honor provisions regarding child custody, visitation, or child support; it will only consider these topics at the time of divorce, basing its decision on the outcome that best serves the children’s interests.
Enforcing Postnuptial Agreements
The law doesn’t explicitly require divorce courts to enforce postnups—the judge may examine multiple factors when deciding whether to enforce such an agreement.
Fair and Equitable
Although no statute imposes requirements, divorce court decisions have helped clarify what judges will likely consider when evaluating postnups. Factors that divorce courts consider when determining whether a postnup is fair and equitable include:
- Both spouses willingly entered into the contract without duress, coercion, or unfair pressure
- Each spouse completely and accurately disclosed their assets and liabilities before either one signed the agreement
- Each spouse had access to independent counsel to review the agreement before they signed
- The agreement was in writing
Following these guidelines increases the likelihood that the divorce court will validate the agreement.
Even when a couple follows proper procedures, the postnup doesn’t automatically go into effect if they divorce. Instead, the party seeking enforcement must ask the court to implement it. The other spouse must file a motion to block enforcement if they want to challenge the agreement.
Fairness at the Time of Enforcement
The divorce court will review the agreement in the context of the situation at the time of divorce. If implementing the contract would create hardship or be unfair, the court might not honor it. A couple could have a Connecticut postnuptial agreement attorney review the postnup and suggest updates to make it more equitable given their current circumstances.
Talk to a Connecticut Postnuptial Agreement Attorney for More Information
A postnuptial agreement can be an effective tool for a couple to implement important financial decisions, so long as it adheres to legal requirements and reflects current circumstances. Otherwise, the divorce court might not enforce it.
A Connecticut postnuptial agreements lawyer can apply their knowledge of current law so the document withstands scrutiny. Call Freed Marcroft today to discuss your legal needs.