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Divorce Planning v. Estate Planning

Protecting your assets in the event of a divorce can be a daunting task. Some couples prepare estate plan documents thinking this will “protect” their assets and ensure that their intent as to the distribution of those assets will be clear. This is not always the case in the event of a divorce. For example, creating an irrevocable trust with your spouse for the benefit of your spouse and children may “protect” your assets in some respects, but it may not necessarily shield your assets from equitable distribution at the time of divorce.

In order to protect your assets in the event of a divorce, a pre-nuptial agreement is typically used. Parties sign this agreement prior to the marriage and set out their intent as to their respective assets upon the dissolution of the marriage. In the 2013 case of Estate of Wilber, 165 N.H. 246, 248 (2013), the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled that post-nuptial agreements could be enforced in the State of New Hampshire. Married couples may now agree as to how their assets should be distributed at the time of divorce and have those agreements enforced by the court.

We here atBrennan Lenehan can assist you with your “divorce planning” needs. We understand that parties entering into a marriage do not do so with the intent of divorcing their spouse and that the protection of one’s assets in the event of a divorce can be a very sensitive subject for couples. We therefore provide the utmost concern and care for our clients in assisting them with this process.