Two people who have wed typically do not expect their marriage to dissolve, so the experience can be traumatizing when it happens. The happiness that once characterized the marriage is replaced with a fear of what will happen to one's belongings. This is a particular concern for people who are in their second or third marriages in Massachusetts. One recent article provides tips on how to prevent divorce from financially destroying one's life.
The first step a couple should ideally take is to develop a prenuptial contract before getting married. This agreement allows the pair to agree to how they will divide their property if they were ever to get divorced. This step is important either for people who have never been married or someone who has already been divorced but is considering remarrying.
If two people are already married, then they can still produce a postnuptial agreement. This agreement lets the married couple disclose all of their income, debts and assets. It is yet another way to safeguard one's finances if a divorce were to happen, which is especially critical if the person getting divorced is older and has been married for a while. In this situation, the various assets that the divorcing couple have acquired over the years make the divorce proceeding more complicated.
If no prenuptial or postnuptial contract is available, a judge will ultimately decide how a divorcing couple's assets will be split. Therefore, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that addresses areas such as alimony, child support and property division can be helpful in reaching a settlement that best satisfies both spouses during a divorce in Massachusetts. Both parties can legally pursue their own interests while negotiating a comprehensive solution with an estranged spouse.
Source: emissourian.com, How to Ensure Divorce Won't Wipe You Out Financially, No author, Oct. 7, 2013