Whether this is a first or subsequent marriage our lawyers strongly advise our clients to consult with an experience attorney to draft a prenuptial agreement.
What is Prenuptial Agreement?
Prenuptial agreement (“premarital agreement”) is an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage. We often get to hear an answer that “I’ve got nothing and she’s got nothing and we are going to love each other ‘till death does us apart’”. As romantic as it might sound, the truth is that marriages to fail and they divorces might become filled with animosity and petty disputes over various assets and property.
Generally, “property" means an interest, present or future, legal or equitable, vested or contingent, in real or personal property, tangible or intangible, including income and debt. One spouse cannot execute a prenuptial agreement unilaterally. A premarital agreement shall be in writing and signed by both spouses. It shall be enforceable without consideration.
What can I include in a prenuptial agreement?
Mostly everything can be included and negotiated as a part of the prenuptial agreement. Connecticut statute provides that parties to a premarital agreement may contract with respect to:
- The rights and obligations of each of the parties in any of the property of either or both of them whenever and wherever acquired or located;
- The right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign, create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property;
- The disposition of property upon separation, marital dissolution, death, or the occurrence or non-occurrence of any other event;
- The modification or elimination of spousal support;
- The making of a will, trust or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement;
- The ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefit from a life insurance policy;
- The right of either party as a participant or participant’s spouse under a retirement plan;
- The choice of law governing the construction of the agreement; and
- Any other matter, including their personal rights and obligations.
No provision made under subdivisions (1) to (9), inclusive, of subsection (a) of this section may be in violation of public policy or of a statute imposing a criminal penalty.
The right of a child to support may not be adversely affected by a premarital agreement. Any provision relating to the care, custody and visitation or other provisions affecting a child shall be subject to judicial review and modification.
A premarital agreement becomes effective upon marriage unless otherwise provided in the agreement.
Can I change my prenuptial agreement after I got married?
Fortunately, such agreement might be changed after marriage. However, a premarital agreement may be amended or revoked only by a written agreement signed by both parties. The amended agreement or the revocation shall be enforceable without consideration.
Enforcement of the Prenuptial Agreement
A premarital agreement or amendment shall not be enforceable if the party against whom enforcement is sought proves that:
- Such party did not execute the agreement voluntarily; or
- The agreement was unconscionable when it was executed or when enforcement is sought; or
- Before execution of the agreement, such party was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of the amount, character and value of property, financial obligations and income of the other party; or
- Such party was not afforded a reasonable opportunity to consult with independent counsel.
If a provision of a premarital agreement modifies or eliminates spousal support and such modification or elimination causes one party to the agreement to be eligible for support under a program of public assistance at the time of separation or marital dissolution, a court, notwithstanding the terms of the agreement, may require the other party to provide support to the extent necessary to avoid such eligibility.
An issue of unconscionability of a premarital agreement shall be decided by the court as a matter of law.