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Connecticut and prenuptial agreements

In the state of Connecticut, prenuptial agreements are enforceable. However, if certain conditions are found to exist, the agreement can be set aside. The main conditions and ways they can be avoided are listed below.

-- The agreement was signed through coercion or under duress. If the agreement was signed in an "or else" atmosphere, this could be grounds to have to agreement nullified. An example of coercion would be if hours before the wedding, the bride informed the groom that unless he signs the agreement, there will be no wedding.

-- The signing party was not given a chance to take the agreement to an attorney for review. Prenuptial agreements do not require a legal review, but it is best for all involved if the agreement is reviewed by an experienced legal professional.

-- One or both parties were not forthcoming with accurate financial accounting before the agreement was signed. Both parties are required to present an accurate portrayal of their financial situation in order for a fair agreement to be drafted. If either party withholds information so that the omission benefits them, this can nullify the agreement and any gain the person might have realized will be erased.

-- The agreement would result in one party becoming destitute and dependent on public assistance. The agreement should not injure a person to the point that self-sufficiency is not an option. One party cannot enjoy lobster every evening while the other only has canned tuna. Lopsided agreements such as that are seldom upheld in court.

-- The agreement is considered "unconscionable." Similar to the issue above, this means that no one party can completely benefit while the other person suffers. The prenuptial agreement was not meant to act as a means of punishment, it helps a couple divide assets in the event of a divorce.

The best way a couple can ensure that an agreement will be executed is to make sure both people are on the same page regarding why the agreement is necessary. The couple should also agree about which assets are not to be touched and which assets will be shared. This will ensure an enforceable agreement in the event it is needed.

Source: FindLaw, "Are Prenuptial Agreements Enforceable in Connecticut?" Thomas D. Colin, Dec. 03, 2014

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