Providing Thoughtful and Effective Representation Through Challenging Times

Postnuptial Agreements

Historically, it was questionable whether postnuptial agreements (made during, not before, the marriage) were enforceable. Connecticut courts that considered the issue sometimes held that such agreements are inherently coercive, because one spouse typically enters into it to preserve the marriage, while the other is primarily motivated by financial concerns.

That view has changed with the times. In 2011 our supreme court recognized that "postnups", like "prenups", are consistent with the public policy of encouraging the private resolution of family issues, and allow couples to eliminate financial uncertainty as a source of emotional turmoil and focus instead on resolving other aspects of the marriage that may be problematic. The court found that "rather than inducing divorce" postnuptial agreements "simply acknowledge its ordinariness" and "do not encourage or facilitate dissolution" but "harmonize with our public policy favoring enduring marriages."

Now, postnuptial agreements that comply with contract principles and are fair and equitable at the time of execution and not unconscionable at the time of dissolution are enforceable. Still, however, such agreements, if challenged, will be given heightened scrutiny. For example, prenuptial agreements are enforceable without consideration, according to statute. No similar deference is accorded to postnuptial agreements. So, they should be negotiated and drafted with care.

The process would typically proceed in this fashion....I would function as a neutral mediator, full disclosure of financials is required, and both spouses will have the opportunity to reflect upon the agreement after seeing its specific terms, to consult with counsel of their choosing and propose revisions before signing. If you are interested in developing a postnuptial agreement, please contact me, I will be happy to assist.

Categories: Other News

For More Information

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.