Bridgeport Marital Agreements Lawyer
Unfortunately, many marriages may end up in divorce court. Couples who have planned ahead – by executing marital agreements – can avoid costly disputes about assets, property, or debts that may need to be divided. No matter the case, you need a seasoned Bridgeport marital agreements lawyer to make sure your agreement will be enforced.
There are two types of marital agreements. A prenuptial agreement is a written contract created by two people that is finalized before they are married. A prenup typically lists all of the property each person owns, plus any debts. It specifies what each person’s property rights will be after the marriage.
A lesser known but also useful tool is the postnuptial agreement, which addresses the same issues but is signed after the two people are married. A family attorney in Bridgeport can help couples plan for their future by assisting in the contraction or execution of important marital documents.
Using a Marital Agreement
Marital agreements allow couples to apply their own rules and standards about property and income in the case of divorce, rather than being subject to state law.
Some kinds of property acquired during marriage automatically become part of the marital estate. A prenup can define whether an asset is the separate property of one spouse or whether the asset is part of the marital estate.
A couple can use a prenup to make financial decisions like whether to open bank accounts together. One thing it cannot do is declare that one party has no obligation to pay child support in the event of a marital dissolution. To best understand the elements of theses documents, an individual should contact a marital agreements lawyer in Bridgeport as soon as possible.
Validating the Agreement
A prenuptial agreement requires both spouses to fully reveal their assets. If one spouse can show that the other did not fully disclose their income or assets at the time the prenup was signed, that spouse will have grounds to have the agreement thrown out.
As with other kinds of contracts, parties that signed under threats or duress are not bound by the agreement. Coercion can be difficult to prove, but it can be done. If a party can prove that they lacked the mental capacity to understand the prenup when they signed it – because of mental illness or the influence of drugs – this may be a reason to invalidate it.
A court may refuse to enforce a marital agreement if it finds it grossly unfair or lopsided – or unconscionable, to use the legal term of art. Certain provisions – giving up one’s right to inherit from a spouse, or to receive any spousal support at all even if there is considerable disparity in income – could be held invalid under this doctrine.
Counsel for Both Parties
Both parties to a prenup should have separate and independent Bridgeport marital agreements attorneys before signing on the dotted line.
A valid marital agreement must be written in a recordable format, like a real estate deed. It must be freely signed by both parties, preferably in front of witnesses (or a notary). Some marital agreement lawyers in Bridgeport even recommend having a judge witness the signing.
Benefit of a Bridgeport Attorney
As should be clear by now, the legal and financial questions raised by prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are intricate. Add the emotional issues that arise in any sort of family law matter, and it has the makings of a highly complex situation.
It is very important to get advice from Bridgeport marital agreements attorneys with experience in these cases – with both the family law background and the financial expertise to provide you with the representation you deserve.