Marriage is in many ways a leap into the unknown. You may have no doubt that you love your spouse and want to spend the rest of your life with them. But you may not have thought about every contingency that could happen in your marriage before the wedding day. Now that you have had some time to consider such possibilities you are convinced that a postnuptial agreement is necessary.
Your spouse may have resisted even talking about a pre-nuptial agreement or the topic may have never come up. The drawing up of a postnuptial agreement tends to be done in a very different spirit. Now that you have settled in the marriage resolving thorny financial and familial issues is not as difficult.
You can use a postnuptial agreement to protect any assets and property you owned before the marriage. You may have lived together before the marriage or decided to live in your house after you were married. Since then you have purchased a new home together, but you have kept your old one. A postnup can make it so that this property does not become part of the marital assets that will be subject to division if the two of you divorce.
One of the most popular uses of postnuptial agreements concerns debt. You and your spouse entered the marriage with individual debt. You both may still be paying off student loan debt, auto debt, and consumer debt in addition to the debt you have acquired as a married couple. You can get a postnuptial agreement which states that the debt that each of you acquired before the marriage becomes your individual responsibility in the event of divorce.
You may also want to protect valuable heirlooms. You may have jewelry, furniture, accessories, or books that are meant to be kept in the family. You may have been given precious family items after your wedding, which you are in turn supposed to pass down to your children when they get married. The only way to keep these items from being subject to asset division during a divorce is to get a legal agreement that stipulates they are not.
Indeed, this is an especially important area that too many people overlook. You cannot trust that your family heirlooms will be perfectly safe in the event of your divorce because they do not mean as much to your significant other as they do to you. Divorce has a way of bringing out the worst in people. If your marriage fails, your heirlooms may be targeted because they mean so much to you.
Many other matters can resolved through a postnuptial agreement. It can help you establish a mutually agreed level of maintenance for you or your spouse. This is often a useful remedy for one when one of you has given up a lucrative career to stay home and raise your children. The agreement can also cover the amount of money to be paid in the case of divorce, or it may state that there is to be no maintenance at all.
If your spouse does not adopt the children of a previous marriage, then you can provide for them in a postnuptial agreement. It is essential to get this issue sorted out if the other parent of your children is no longer alive, cannot be found, or has a life that is unsuited for the raising of children.
You can also work out the child support, child custody, and visitation arrangements that will obtain between you in the event of divorce. But it is important to note that the court will always act in the best interest of the child, regardless of what the two parents have worked out beforehand.
If you are the one proposing a postnuptial agreement, you should hire a lawyer who specializes in drawing up such documents. You should also encourage your spouse to get their own lawyer to review the eventual agreement. It is important that the postnuptial agreement be viewed as legally valid and binding. A judge may decide it is not enforceable if they believe your spouse was coerced into signing it.
A lawyer specializing in postnuptial agreements will have the knowledge and insight to recognize such potential problems and advise you on how to be avoid them. They will also sit down with you and help you think through your priorities, so that everyone and everything you care about is covered. Your lawyer will then be able to sit down with your spouse’s lawyer and work out a fair and just agreement.
Todd is a miracle worker who will work tirelessly for you and your family. He is one of the few attorneys i've met - who I earnestly trust to protect me, and who I am happy to refer to our friends and fellow family members. The Spodek Law Group is someone you want on your side, because they will treat you just like family. Todd and his team are available 24/7, and they always answered our calls. Even when we were being irrational, and crazy - they were calm and super helpful. Just call Todd. He gives you a free consultation and is very understanding.- Donna & Robert
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