used to spell out the rights, obligations, and protections of parties if they divorce or one party dies during the marriage. A prenuptial agreement must be signed before the parties marry. To be enforceable, the prenuptial discussions must include full financial disclosure by each party of the nature and extent of each one's assets, and any waiver of rights to the other party's assets must be made voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently after full disclosure of assets owned by the other. A premarital agreement is only enforceable if its terms are fair and reasonable when the parties execute it and if it is not unconscionable when a party seeks to enforce it against a spouse in the context of divorce. This means, even if the court determines that a prenuptial agreement was fair and reasonable when the parties signed it, the court will still take a second look to determine if circumstances have changed making it unconscionable when it is offered up for the divorce judge to consider.
Lisa Cukier is a partner and firm executive committee member in the Boston-based law firm of Burns & Levinson LLP, with offices throughout New England, as well as in London and Denver. She concentrates her practice on all aspects of estate and trust litigation, fiduciary litigation, probate law, child custody, parentage issues and divorce, planning and litigation for blended families, adoption, guardianship and conservatorship, and elder financial exploitation. Lisa’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Co-chair of REBA’s Estate Planning, Trusts Estate Administration Section, Dave Raymon is a partner in the private client and trusts & estates group at Burns & Levinson LLP.. Dave is a JD/CPA, which has equipped him with a unique skill set that he uses to advise clients on tax and non-tax aspects of their estate planning, fiduciary duty actions, and other probate and trust-related controversies. Clients appreciate Dave's perspective on legal issues, which often include a very personal component, and his guidance in evaluating options. Dave can be contacted at email@example.com.