For Massachusetts couples who are preparing to wed, the timeframe leading up to the wedding can be filled with seemingly endless tasks. Financially savvy couples will include the preparation of a prenuptial agreement within those to-do lists. While virtually every couple is aware of the benefits offered by a prenup, few realize how important it is to ensure that the contract outlining the division of marital property is written properly.
In the best case scenario, a prenuptial agreement will never be called into service, and will be just one of many protective financial measures taken by a family. However, if the need should arise to make use of the document, it will be vitally important that the prenup was properly drafted. Asking a court to uphold these contracts requires that they meet certain legal expectations.
One example involves the circumstances under which the prenup was written and signed. If a spouse can prove that they were forced to sign the document under duress, the entire prenup can be thrown out of court. Interestingly, it does not take a major act of coercion to prove duress; simply signing the contract in the days or weeks leading up to a wedding can be spun as signing under threat that the wedding may not take place otherwise.
One way to protect against a challenge to a prenuptial agreement is to ask the Massachusetts attorney drafting the document to maintain a record of all correspondence and communication between parties or within the presence of the attorney that relates to the prenup. These records can be used as evidence if the matter should ever go before a court and the need to divide marital property should arise. Having access to these communications can help demonstrate that a prenup was written properly, and that all parties were fully aware of the provisions laid out within the contract.
Source: Huffington Post, Heading to Divorce Court With a Prenuptial Agreement, Alton Abramowitz, Nov. 4, 2013