While couples traditionally sign agreements before marriage, a “prenup” can also be signed after marriage. A postnuptial agreement involves disclosing assets that belong to each spouse, including marital and separate property and setting forth an agreement for the division of these assets in the event of a divorce. Postnup agreements can also be used establish pre-marital debt, support for children of a prior marriage, establish spousal maintenance, and more.
If you are already married but concerned about protecting your assets in case of divorce, a postnup can be a wise decision. After all, financial decisions are best made when a couple is on good terms with each other. A Bronx postnuptial agreement lawyer can help you draft an agreement that gives both spouses protection and guidance in the case of divorce.
A postnup agreement can be used to address many areas. These agreements don’t need to be made with divorce in mind; they can also be used for financial planning and the financial protection of both spouses. Each spouse can benefit from a postnuptial agreement. A spouse with significant assets prior to marriage can ensure their separate property and the earnings during marriage are protected. A spouse without sizable assets can also benefit from a postnup that sets fair spousal maintenance and/or assets like a home.
The following are issues that may be addressed in a postnup agreement in New York.
Separate property refers to assets and money that were brought into the marriage. A postnup can be used to identify separate property that belongs to each spouse such as an inheritance, a home, and cash.
Sometimes one spouse’s debt is not known to the other spouse until after marriage. If either spouse brought debt to the relationship, a postnup can state that this debt should stay with the spouse that incurred it.
If either spouse had minor children prior to marriage and they are not adopted by the other spouse, a postnup can ensure the children are looked after in case of divorce.
A postnuptial agreement is often used to determine a fair amount of maintenance for a spouse during marriage, especially if the spouse has sacrificed a career to raise children or supported the other spouse. This agreement can also be used to determine the type and amount of support that will be provided in case of divorce.
Under New York law, a postnup agreement is enforceable in court as long as it’s drafted correctly. Courts have decided that New York postnup agreements are valid when both spouses make a full financial disclosure before signing the agreement, which means hiding assets, for example, can render the agreement void.
There are some circumstances in which some terms or provisions may not be enforceable, however. For example, spousal support terms may be disregarded if one spouse is in financial need at the time of divorce or the agreement is found to be unconscionable or very unfair to one spouse.
Couples have many reasons for creating a postnup agreement after marriage. Sometimes this is done because the couple did not consider the possibility of a prenup prior to marriage, but it’s usually the result of a significant change in circumstances during the marriage. The following are common reasons to consider a postnup.
There are many pitfalls that must be avoided when drafting a postnuptial agreement that stands up in court. For example, a valid postnup must protect both spouses. If the agreement is extremely unfair to one spouse, a judge will likely disregard it. Fair, full disclosure of assets by both spouses is also essential to prevent a postnup from being rendered invalid.
To avoid having a postnup challenged, it’s also important that each spouse have their own Bronx postnup agreement lawyer. Without separate legal representation, a court will look at the agreement more closely for signs that the postnup is unfair.
After a discussion with your spouse, a postnuptial agreement attorney can help you address your concerns and draft an agreement that will protect the best interests of both spouses. An experienced attorney will understand the complex laws surrounding postnup agreements and ensure all legal processes are followed correctly.
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