Connecticut Prenuptial Agreements
Family Attorney for Prenup and Postnup Agreements in Westport CT
A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract between two individuals that are planning to be married. Future spouses use prenuptial agreements to enter into arrangements regarding how assets and income will be distributed throughout the course of marriage and in the event that the couple decides to divorce.
Why Should I have a Connecticut Prenuptial Agreement?
There are various reasons why future spouses decide to enter into a prenuptial agreement. For some couples, particularly if they are entering into their second or third marriage, a prenuptial agreement is an advantageous way to manage and decide financial and estate planning issues.
Another beneficial reason to sign a prenuptial agreement is if either individual has children from a prior marriage. A prenuptial agreement can help safeguard assets to ensure that the children will inherit what is entitled to them in the event of a divorce. Another common reason why a couple may opt for a prenuptial agreement is if one of the future spouses has significantly more assets than the other. In this instance, the prenuptial agreement would ensure that the assets are properly divided. Lastly, future spouses who have went through previous divorces may decide to draw up a prenuptial agreement so they will not have to incur all of the legal expenses again, should they divorce.
What is included in a Connecticut Prenuptial Agreement?
In the state of Connecticut, the Premarital Agreement Act (Public Act No. 95-170) dictates the law for prenuptial agreements. This statute applies to Connecticut prenuptial agreements made after October 1, 1995.
Several different arrangements can be made under the Connecticut Prenuptial Agreement Act. Future spouses can decide what will happen to property and assets in the event of divorce or death, the terms of wills and trusts that each individual decides, and the ownership and the beneficiaries of life insurance policies. A couple who plans to get married can also decide the extent to which each individual can use the other's property and assets and whether or not alimony should be paid and the amount.
Tips for a Connecticut Prenuptial Agreement
When you make the decision to create a prenuptial agreement it is important that you allow yourself and your future spouse enough time to draft the agreement with an attorney. It is advised that you start drafting your prenuptial agreement several months before your wedding date so you have enough time to thoroughly review the document.
When you are drafting your Connecticut prenuptial agreement, it is imperative to ensure that you do not hide any information regarding your assets from your future spouse. If you hide assets, especially highly valued property or income, the prenuptial agreement has the potential to be declared invalid by the court system.
It is also necessary to think about what your future spouse's reaction will be if you are the one requesting the agreement. Prenuptial agreements can bring up sensitive topics and decisions and you should be prepared to handle the uncomfortable negotiations that may arise.
The Validity of a Connecticut Prenuptial Agreement
The Connecticut Prenuptial Agreement Act also helps a court determine whether or not a Connecticut prenuptial agreement is enforceable. The validity of a prenuptial agreement can be challenged when any of the following situations occur:
- The agreement was not entered into voluntarily.
- The individual challenging the agreement was not given an accurate disclosure of the other party's assets, income or debts.
- If the spouse challenging the agreement was not given the opportunity to consult with an attorney prior to signing the agreement. It is mandatory that both spouses are given sufficient time before their wedding to consult an attorney for legal advice.
- The agreement was considered unconscionable when it was executed or is at the time of the divorce. Unconscionable can be defined as the circumstances under which the agreement was made are deemed unfair. One side may have unequal bargaining power, one side may have difficulty understanding the terms of the agreement, or the terms themselves were unfair. Additionally, one side made have a lack of capacity or be under certain duress at the time of signing.
Contact a Connecticut Family Law Attorney
If you decide to sign a Connecticut prenuptial agreement, you will be protecting yourself, your assets and property in the event of a future divorce. It is important to work with an experienced family law attorney when drafting a prenuptial agreement. Connecticut family law attorney Richard H. Raphael brings over 30 years of experience serving clients throughout Westport and the surrounding communities. Contact Richard H. Raphael today for a free initial consultation to discuss your concerns and questions regarding Connecticut prenuptial agreements. Call 203-226-6168 or fill out the online contact form.