POSTNUPTIAL AGREEMENTS IN CT PART I: IS IT RIGHT FOR ME?

Many clients come into our office from the towns of Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Rowayton, Stamford, and Westport, wondering whether they should enter into a Postnuptial Agreement. In general terms, a Postnuptial Agreement is a contract between a husband and wife entered into after their wedding ceremony, anywhere from weeks to years later. Postnuptial Agreements are often created in the interest of preserving the marriage, and encouraging the private resolution of family issues. Historically, the state of Connecticut disfavored divorces, and found postnuptial agreements akin to divorce and contrary to public policy. In 2011, the state’s position shifted and in Bedrick v. Bedrick, the Connecticut Supreme Court upheld the enforceability of Postnuptial Agreements finding them consistent with public policy. As part of the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision, the Court acknowledged that Postnuptial Agreements help privately resolve marital conflicts, protect third party interests, and address the parties’ financial concerns.

Postnuptial Agreements are helpful in a variety of situations, including infidelity, protection of the parties’ children’s interests, or where one or both parties has accumulated a substantial interest or future interest in a company or business, which they want to safeguard. While couples often enter into a Postnuptial Agreement during a time when divorce or separation is not imminent, the parties need to be prepared to address many of the financial concerns and issues which would otherwise be raised in the event of a divorce. This can be emotionally taxing to the husbands and wives of Fairfield County. At Broder & Orland, LLC, we understand that Postnuptial Agreements can raise very sensitive topics, and we tailor each of our Postnuptial Agreements to suit each couple’s needs.

Unlike Prenuptial Agreements, which are governed by Connecticut law, specifically General Statutes Section 46b-36d(a), Postnuptial Agreements are not governed by any statutes in Connecticut. Nonetheless, Postnuptial Agreements are used to address many of the same issues as a Prenuptial Agreement including, but not limited to each party’s rights and obligations to any real or personal property, acquired by one or both parties during or prior to the marriage, and/or the disposition of said property upon separation or divorce. Postnuptial Agreements may also be used to establish the rights and interests of the parties’ children to any real or personal property, acquired by one or both parties during or prior to the marriage. Additionally, Postnuptial Agreements can address spousal support, but it is important to understand that the parties’ income and financial situation may change from the creation of the Postnuptial Agreement to the time of the divorce. Postnuptial Agreements can also provide for the ownership rights of life insurance policies, as well as the rights of each party to the other spouse’s retirement plan(s). Furthermore, a Postnuptial Agreement may address other matters the parties’ are concerned about, including personal rights and obligations.

Spouses often do not contract to a Postnuptial Agreement under the same conditions and sentiment as a Prenuptial Agreement. Upon entrance into a Postnuptial Agreement, husbands and wives share the institution of marriage, as well as other special confidences. They may have children, and there may be additional family dynamics to consider, some of which are often not present at the time of contracting to a Prenuptial Agreement. At Broder & Orland, LLC, we understand this and frequently consult with clients who have questions about whether a Postnuptial Agreement is right for them. We also have significant experience representing clients who want to protect their interests during the process of drafting and negotiating a Postnuptial Agreement.

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