Marriage is a legal contract as much as it is an emotional commitment. This means your rights and responsibilities pertaining to debts and assets change when you become a spouse. The laws of the state will determine which properties are separate and which are marital, but couples have some control over property division if they create a prenuptial agreement. If you’re a Massachusetts resident and preparing for marriage, here are some important things about prenuptial agreements to keep in mind.
The purpose of a premarital agreement
Prenuptial agreements can cover several topics. Among the most common are how money and assets acquired during the marriage will be classified and who will be responsible for certain debts within the marriage. As with any other document, there are certain subjects that can’t be included in prenuptial agreements. For instance, couples can’t include provisions pertaining to child support in a prenup since the state has specific regulations to determine how much the non-custodial parent must pay.
Enforcing prenuptial agreements in Massachusetts
According to Massachusetts laws, prenups are known as “antenuptial agreements.” The agreements will be legally enforced as long they are reasonable and fair for both parties at the time the document is created. Sometimes, the court will reassess prenuptial agreements during divorce proceedings to ensure that the terms still reflect the original intention of both parties.
According to Sections 25 and 26 of Massachusetts General Laws, Part II, Title III, Chapter 209, parties are legally permitted to create a written contract that explains which assets and finances will be considered marital or separate property. The terms of the prenup go into effect once the couple is officially married.