Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Prenuptial agreements can make a difference in same sex divorces

Same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts, and just like straight couples, married same-sex couples may also face divorce in their lives. Due to the possibility of divorce, gay couples should consider preparing a prenuptial agreement before entering into a marriage.

Suggesting a prenuptial agreement may not be the sweetest thing to do before getting married. However, same-sex individuals need to understand that creating a prenuptial agreement provides them with security in the event of a divorce as it can delineate most of the issues that come up in a divorce including alimony and property division.

By drafting a prenuptial agreement, gay couples can decide whether to award alimony in the event of divorce. The couple can also pre-determine the amount of alimony, which a court might award to the less-earning spouse. A prenup can also determine which property or assets will not be included in property division. Generally, sole property such as inheritance and gifts are not included in the division of marital assets.

To ensure that the agreement is enforceable, it should be well-written and signed without any signs of duress or coercion. During the drafting of the agreement, full financial disclosure must be done to promote fairness on both sides. Before signing the agreement, both parties may be represented by a legal professional to ensure that no one was forced to sign the agreement.

In the event of a same sex divorce, the judge can review the agreement and honor what is written on it, therefore reducing the stress and financial implications of the legal process. For guidance and other-related concerns, same sex spouses may wish to consider speaking with a family law attorney who handles same-sex and non-marital disputes. The legal professional can give sound advice, depending on the situation of the potential client.

Source: Windycitymediagroup.com, "Premarital agreements: protect your property rights," Roger McCaffrey-Boss, Feb. 5, 2014

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