A Discussion Forum for the Mississippi Estate Planning Community
Tag Archives: marital agreements
Linda J. Ravdin, a principal in the Maryland law firm of Pasternak & Fidis, P.C., where she concentrates in divorce and family law, writes about Premarital Agreements in her article for Wealth Strategies Journal. The introduction to her article is below: The link to the full article follows.
A premarital agreement is a contract between two persons who intend to marry that determines their financial rights at the end of the marriage by death or divorce. It seems to be a fairly widespread belief that it is easy to challenge the validity of a premarital agreement in court. In one sense it is easy: A determined opponent will be able to find a lawyer who is willing to go into court and attempt to convince a judge to throw out a premarital agreement. However, it is a myth that these challenges are often successful. In fact, they rarely succeed.
But, even when the party who wants the agreement to be upheld – the proponent – wins the fight over validity, he or she often pays a heavy price in legal fees, delay, risk and uncertainty. When a proponent wins the fight over validity, often it is only after a trial and then an appeal.
The thesis of this article is that it is not enough for a premarital agreement to meet the minimum standards for validity in the state where the agreement is to be signed. Rather, the proponent’s interests can be better protected if the process leading to execution and the text of the agreement discourage an attack by making it overwhelmingly difficult for an attack to succeed.