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Postnuptial agreements can make strong sense for some couples

We pose the following hypothetical — which is certainly mirrored by reality in many Massachusetts marriages — in an article on our family law website at the Law Offices of Lisa A. Ruggieri, P.C.

To wit: One half of a married partnership — let’s say the wife, which is more commonly the case, although not exclusively so — decides to forgo a lucrative career to stay at home and raise a growing family.

Unfortunately, the marriage ends in divorce years ago, with the wife having forfeited any chance to reenter the job market in a position even remotely similar in stature or pay to the one she surrendered when she left the workforce.

We duly note on our site that the future economic consequences of her altruistic decision “could be enormous.”

In fact, and in the event that a truly equitable divorce outcome is not achieved, they could be personally disastrous.

A smartly negotiated and well-drafted postnuptial agreement could have altered the bottom line in that hypothetical and, in fact, does help reap far more positive results in many real divorce outcomes in Massachusetts and nationally.

We note a fundamental strength inherent in postnuptial agreements for couples who opt to execute them, namely, their ability “to bring certainty” to a future financial situation.

Although postnuptial contracts have been legally enforceable in Massachusetts for a number of years now, the state’s highest court has stated that close judicial scrutiny will attach to questions surrounding their validity and specifics.

And the court further noted in a seminal case discussing postnups that reliance on a proven attorney’s work product in negotiating and executing such an agreement “will go a long way toward ensuring [its] enforceability.”

Questions or issues regarding marital contracts (both postnuptial and prenuptial agreements) can be addressed to a seasoned Massachusetts family law attorney.

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