Marital Agreement Lawyer in Hingham, MA
Establish a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement
Marital agreements establish guidelines to follow should a couple’s marriage end in divorce. They can dictate how marital property will be divided and outline other financial matters. Massachusetts recognizes prenuptial, postnuptial, and separation agreements.
At Sawin Law, P.C., our Hingham marital agreement lawyer can help you draft a new agreement or review one you have already drafted. We carefully assess every aspect of your marriage, your finances, and your life circumstances to ensure that your marital agreement reflects your needs and achieves your goals. Our firm serves clients throughout Plymouth County.
Prenuptial vs. Postnuptial Agreements
The primary difference between prenuptial and postnuptial agreements is timing. A prenuptial agreement is drafted and signed before the couple is married, whereas a postnuptial agreement can be signed any time after the wedding.
Quite often, postnuptial agreements are drafted when the couple experiences a problem in the relationship. Many people establish postnuptial agreements as an attempt to salvage a marriage when infidelity, financial problems, bankruptcy, or other issues arise.
As such, courts review postnuptial agreements with a closer eye than they would a prenuptial agreement. Massachusetts courts strive to prevent one spouse from abusing the postnuptial agreement just to get emotional leverage in a marriage.
Massachusetts does not recognize legal separation, but it does recognize separation agreements. If you and your spouse can agree on the terms of your separation, you are encouraged to draft a separation agreement and submit it to the court for approval.
Separation agreements may cover topics like:
Christopher is extremely knowledgeable about these contracts and can help you draft one that addresses all relevant aspects of your separation while protecting your rights and prioritizing your goals.
The Benefits of a Marital Agreement
They may seem unromantic, but marital agreements offer outstanding protection and can actually strengthen a relationship. Though couples with substantial assets or large estates may benefit most from a marital agreement, people from all walks of life may find them advantageous.
By establishing a marital agreement, you can:
- Protect yourself from your spouse’s debts
- Protect any income or assets you brought into the marriage
- Outline plans for alimony in the event of divorce
- Protect certain assets/property for children from past relationships or marriages
What Am I Entitled to in a Divorce?
In Massachusetts, you have the right to a portion of all of the joint property you share with your spouse. This can include any real estate, income, or other assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage. If the couple has a prenuptial agreement, the courts will use this in order to divide the assets accordingly.
It is also up to the court to decide if you or your spouse will receive alimony, or ‘spousal support’, after your divorce. A judge will decide the amount and time frame for any alimony payments based on a range of factors, including the length of the marriage, each spouse’s health, income, debts, and needs. Child custody will also be decided by the courts if a couple cannot agree on a set amount or visitation rights.
How Are Marital Assets Divided in a Divorce?
Under Massachusetts law, couples who are beginning the divorce process can decide to divide their joint assets and property on their own — and have the option to file what is known as a Property Settlement Agreement (PSA).
If a couple cannot come to an agreement on their own, you must take your case to court, where a judge will decide how your property is divided. Massachusetts courts will use their judgment to divide assets ‘equitably’, meaning that shared assets will be divided fairly. This does not necessarily mean equally; a judge may use factors such as the length of the marriage, the contribution of each spouse, actions taken during the marriage, and any unmet needs of children. Property or assets that an individual owns will not be included in the distribution.
Call Sawin Law, P.C.
No matter the details of your marriage or your goals for a marital agreement, Sawin Law, P.C. is here to help you draft a comprehensive contract that protects your rights. With a thorough and analytical approach, we have helped numerous soon-to-be-spouses and newlyweds draft both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
Reach out to us today at 781-410-4177.
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