You are here

Post-marital agreement enforceable in MA?

Are post-marital agreements enforceable in Massachusetts? Also, are they the same thing as post-nuptial agreements. In another post you discussed post-nuptial agreements and said they were enforceable in some case, but you didn't say when or under what circumstances they might be enforced. Thanks.

Share this with your friends

Yes, post-marital agreements, aka post-nuptial agreements, aka marital agreements are enforceable in Massachusetts. Married couples sometimes use them to determine how marital and other assets will be divided in the event of a divorce. However, because of the concern that one spouse may coerce the other into signing a post-marital agreement ("sign this or I'm going to divorce you"), Massachusetts courts will scrutinize them carefully.

Under a recent Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision, when asked by one party to enforce a post-nuptial agreement (the burden of proof will be on the party seeking to enforce the agreement), MA judges must determine whether: (1) both parties were given the opportunity to hire an attorney to review the agreement; (2) there was any fraud or coercion applied in reaching the the agreement or in its execution; (3) both parties made full and complete disclosures with respect to their assets; (4) both parties knowingly and explicitly agreed in writing to waive their rights to a judicial division of assets and other marital rights if/when either party filed for divorce; and (5) (the catch-all) the post-nuptial agreement's terms were fair and reasonable to both parties at the time of the execution of the agreement AND at the time of divorce. Hope that helps.



Talk to a Divorce Attorney Today
Most offer FREE Consultations
Connect with The Forum
facebook google twitter linkedin