A post-nuptial agreement is similar to a prenup but it is signed after a marriage rather than before. The agreement usually addresses the same issues that a pre-nuptial agreement would if there was a divorce. For example, alimony, property distribution and other financial considerations can all be set forth in a post-nuptial agreement. In fact, these agreements can be tailored to a couple’s particular circumstances.
And just like prenups, these agreements are designed to alleviate uncertainty about legal rights and obligations if the marriage ends in divorce.
And just like prenups, they are allowed in Connecticut.
And just like prenups, there are times when a spouse tries to wiggle out of the agreement. When that happens, the court has to decide whether to enforce the postnup.
In making this determination Courts will examine the agreement at two points:
Time of execution. In deciding whether the agreement is valid, a court will consider whether the agreement was entered into voluntarily without any undue influence, duress, fraud or coercion. There must be also be fair and full financial disclosure within a reasonable time before signing the agreement.
Time of divorce. A court will also consider whether enforcing the agreement would be “unconscionable.” Or put another way – will enforcing the agreement at amount to an injustice? A major consideration is whether there was a dramatic change in the economic circumstances of the spouses from the time of execution to the time enforcement.
Post-nuptial agreements can be a useful tool to avoid prolonged and costly divorce litigation.