Sunday, August 15, 2010
Massachusetts now allows postnuptial agreements.
In the recent case of Ansin v. Craven-Ansin, Massachusetts established that spouses can contract with each other in limited circumstances. Known as marital agreements, postnuptial agreements, or postnups, these agreements can be used in an effort to save a marriage or for estate planning. Such agreements will be valid and enforceable provided they meet the highest standards of fairness and good faith. This means that there must be full disclosure of finances and assets and the agreement must be free of fraud, and coercion. Each party must have the opportunity to consult an attorney before execution. In addition, the agreement will be compared to property division under the divorce laws to determine fairness.