It may take some time after you have settled into your marriage to realize that you need to make certain arrangements that protect you both. In the first flush of love and affection it is not always possible to think clearly about the practical aspects of marriage. You may not have gotten a prenuptial agreement because you did not want to think about divorce just as you were about to enter into the institution of marriage. Now that you have been with your spouse for a time you have come to realize the wisdom of drafting a legal document that protects her interests and yours.
Everything that you do in prenuptial agreement can be done in a postnuptial agreement. The two are essentially the same, except that the latter is drawn up and signed while the two of you are married. Proposing a postnup need not be a sign that you are losing confidence in the marriage, and you can re-assure your partner that such is not the case.
A postnuptial agreement settles the matter of pre-marital assets and debt. It may be the case that you were unable to make all of the decisions concerning your property and investments before you got married. For example, if your spouse lived with you before the two of you purchased a new home, and you decided to keep your old one, then a postnuptial agreement will help you retain that asset in the event of your divorce.
Debt is another important matter to resolve. You may have accumulated a great deal of debt as a couple. This is added to the individual student, auto, and consumer debt that you both individually contracted before getting married. In the postnuptial agreement you can stipulate that the debt that each of you incurred before the marriage becomes your individual responsibility if you divorce.
You may also want to protect your heirlooms. Jewelry, furniture, books, and other items that have been in the family for generations can be protected in a postnup. Indeed, certain gifts may have been bequeathed to you on the day of your marriage as part of a family tradition. It is meant that you should likewise pass them down to your children when they are of age and have gotten married. To ensure that such objects are not made subject to division in a divorce you must get a postnuptial agreement.
The realities of your marriage may have brought to light other matters that are best addressed through a postnuptial agreement. If you are bringing children from another marriage into the one you’ve just entered into and your new spouse does not adopt them, then you can ensure that your kids are provided for in the event of a divorce.
You can also establish an agreed upon level of maintenance. If you or your spouse gives up a lucrative career to become raise your children, then you can use a postnuptial agreement to stipulate a guaranteed level of financial support. The agreement can even state the amount of money you will pay to your spouse during or after the divorce, or it can state that there will be no maintenance.
Although you can work out an agreement on child custody and visitation in a postnuptial agreement, you should know that the court will in all cases act in what is in the best interests of the child at the time.
You want to ensure that you go through a proper process in drawing up a postnuptial agreement. If you and your spouse have agreed to get one, you should have your individual attorneys look at it and advise you; otherwise the judge may not enforce it.
That is why your first step in getting this kind of agreement is to speak to a lawyer who specializes in them. Such a lawyer can sit down with you and help you sort through your priorities. Any number of things may have come to mind that inspired you to want a postnuptial agreement. But if you are to actually get one, and convince your spouse that it is in your mutual interests to sign one, then you must ensure that all the issues that important to you both are covered.
A postnuptial lawyer has the knowledge, experience, and expertise to draw up such a document. They also have the skill to negotiate with your partner’s lawyer so that you can feel confident and satisfied that you have a document that protects and is in the best interests of you and your spouse.
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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