Differing financial perspectives and goals – and the disagreements they lead to –are common contributor to divorce. Couples who work together to discuss their perspectives and financial expectations and goals can reduce future and set the tone for a healthier relationship in general.
Whether you are engaged or already married, a local family attorney can create a marital agreement to protect your assets as individuals and as a couple. Consult a West Hartford marital agreements lawyer from our firm to learn more.
Timing Determines the Type of Marital Agreement
All marital agreements must be written and signed by both parties, and follow other legal requirements that an experienced family law attorney can thoroughly explain. Generally speaking, courts won’t honor verbal agreements or unsigned documents. The type of marital agreement that is right for you depends on your intentions and whether you are already married.
A premarital agreement (prenup) directs how you and your fiancé plan to handle your finances as a married couple. It could assign specific property or debt as separate, define how you manage joint expenses and obligations, and propose how you would divide assets if you divorce. Critically, you must sign it before the wedding.
Post-nuptial agreements are for couples who are already married, and are increasing in popularity. Some post-nuptial agreements revoke and revise a prenup to reflect the couples’ updated goals. If you do not already have a prenup, you might create a post-nuptial agreement to set financial expectations or rules about money, debt, and property.
Our West Hartford attorneys can review your situation to help you determine which marital agreement best meets your needs and what terms to include.
Challenging a Martial Agreement
Sometimes one party tries to challenge or disregard the terms of a marital agreement. Although they’re generally enforceable if they follow Connecticut law, the judge could invalidate a marital agreement under specific circumstances.
Connecticut General Statutes § 46b-36g describes the enforceability of prenups. No law governs postnuptial agreements, but courts tend to analyze them somewhat similarly. Generally speaking, a marital agreement is enforceable if both parties completely disclose their debts and holdings and have a chance to review the agreement with an independent lawyer before signing. Evidence of coercion or undue influence could invalidate a marital agreement.
Additionally, marital agreements cannot be unconscionable. Unconscionability means the agreement is so one-sided that it goes beyond what is considered unfair. For example, it can’t be so unreasonable at the time it’s signed that it’s unconscionable. Additionally, down the line, a change in the couple’s life circumstances can render an existing agreement unconscionable. In either case, the court could set the marital agreement aside. Our West Hartford attorneys can review your marital contract to determine its enforceability and help ensure it protects your rights.
Get Help With Marital Agreements From Our West Hartford Attorneys
The relationship between spouses is a financial partnership as well as an emotional one. An honest and clear statement of mutual expectations could support a healthy marriage and simplify dissolution if you decide to part ways.
Whether you are getting married, need to clarify financial matters with your spouse, or plan to end your relationship, consult a West Hartford marital agreements lawyer. Our team can draft an agreement that meets your specific needs or review an existing contract for fairness and enforceability.