Harry Paul Marquis, Chartered works with couples who wish to establish the terms of a settlement agreement either before or after they are married — in the event that they later decide to divorce or legally separate. While these kinds of agreements are often frowned upon by society, working out a prenuptial (premarital) agreement before marriage or a postnuptial agreement after the fact can be very practical.
Working out the terms of a potential settlement in advance — especially if your joint and separate assets are complex and/or vast — allows you and your significant other to decide for yourselves how you wish your assets and debts to be divided.
Even though you are working on your agreement as a couple, it is important that each of you has his or her own family law attorney to represent you and your interests while protecting your rights. You will also want to make sure that your agreement with your fiancé, fiancée, or spouse is drafted correctly in the event that you do get divorced or become legally separated. Premarital and postnuptial agreements are legal contracts that are enforceable by law and can prove challenging to contest later.
A prenuptial agreement addresses in specific terms many matters, including the following:
A comprehensive prenup can help avoid disagreement or conflict later on.
Married couples who have decided to create postnuptial agreements are considered fiduciaries of each other, and they are therefore required by law to provide each other with full disclosure of all information and issues pertaining to the drafting of the postnuptial agreement. The terms that can be settled by a postnuptial agreement are similar to the ones included in a prenuptial agreement.
In the event that you have signed a prenuptial or a postnuptial agreement that you now wish to challenge because your spouse did not disclose all of his or her assets or debts, you were unfairly pressured into signing the agreement, or you were deceived into signing the contract, I will help you challenge the terms of a defective prenuptial or postnuptial agreement and, if necessary, litigate your matter in court.
I also represent clients who wish to enforce the terms of their prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement that a soon-to-be ex-husband or ex-wife may now wish to contest.