Prenuptial agreements are useful tools that help individuals who are about to be married or enter into civil unions address what they want to see happen in the event of a divorce, separation or the death of either partner. Prior to entering into a marriage or a civil union, parties can get together and plan what will happen to their property and income upon the occurrence of certain events they can identify and define themselves. Their agreement is reduced to writing which both parties review with separate attorneys. When these agreements are negotiated and drafted properly, they help protect family assets and businesses and can also provide a meaningful and financially responsible format for resolutions during very difficult situations.
It may not be romantic, but meeting with an attorney to draft a Pre-marital or Prenuptial Agreements is a very effective way to prevent problems in unforeseen events.
Blended families are becoming the norm rather than the exception. It is important to consider the rights and obligations that a potential partner might have because they were previously married, or had relationships with other individuals that resulted in minor children. New marriages or civil unions impact estate and inheritance rights. The potential of children in a new marriage or civil union must be considered in addition to the children that already exist.
Until recently, the courts and lawyers in Connecticut relied on case law, determining on a case by case basis whether or not a prenuptial agreement should be enforced in divorce actions. But several years ago, the State of Connecticut enacted a Pre-Marital Agreement law which addressed the validity and enforceability of prenuptial agreements. Connecticut Courts are upholding and enforcing the agreements when the criteria set forth in that statute are met.
When enforceability of the agreement is fought by one of the partners, the prenuptial agreement will be found valid and upheld if it was a fair transaction with full financial disclosure. In addition, there must be sufficient time for each party signing the agreement to have the opportunity to review it with an attorney of their choice prior to signing.
In a prenuptial agreement, the parties can concentrate on providing a resolution for issues that may arise in the event of a divorce. For example, individuals can decide in advance, if any alimony will be paid to one another as well as the circumstances under which it will be paid, including amount and duration.
Future spouses can also identify and isolate the property that each of them wishes kept separate (including potential inheritances or possible gifts from family members). With a well drafted Prenuptial Agreement, parents with children from previous relationships are able to make financial and estate plans freely with their future partner’s full knowledge and understanding..
Prenuptial agreements are an especially useful tool in protecting family owned businesses, special family heirlooms and other valuable property.
Most of the time, the existence of a prenuptial agreement takes away any need for a trial in the event of a divorce. On occasion however, it is necessary to address a prenuptial agreement in the courts. A client may now believe the agreement they entered into at the outset of their marriage is no longer fair and equitable, or that the situation is so vastly different, it should not be enforced. Those individuals may need an attorney who will help them question or attack the validity of the prenuptial agreement. There are also the occasions when clients need help with the enforcement of a valid prenuptial agreement because their spouse now wishes to challenge a validly executed pre-marital agreement.
The Law Offices of Karen Reynolds, LLC has experience with the drafting and negotiation of Prenuptial Agreements. Contact our office if you are getting married and want to understand what your rights are in connection with this type of agreement. If you need assistance in negotiating or reviewing a pre-marital agreement, our office can give you counsel.
With thirty years of experience in the practice of family law, our attorney can help you make a determination about whether to fight or enforce the validity of a prenuptial agreement in court. In the event a trial to determine validity or enforceability is necessary, we have the skills and experience necessary to assist you.
Call the Law Offices of Karen Reynolds, LLC, for your free consultation.