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NYC Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreement Lawyers

 New York Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreement Lawyers

Either party in an engagement can request a prenuptial agreement for the purpose of clarifying property ownership in case a marriage ends. High net worth individuals benefit immensely from these agreements. Nevertheless, being wealthy is not a prerequisite for a person to get one. Any man or woman holding personal property or assets of any value may find prenuptial agreement contracts necessary.

According to the legislation in New York, prenuptial agreements need to be signed by both parties and notarized before the marriage takes place. After that, when the couple marries, the prenuptial agreement goes into effect.

Prenuptial agreements must be a contract in writing. An oral agreement will likely fail to have any standing or value in court.


A Well-Structured Prenup

The contract defines terms surrounding the ownership of property.  That a prenup is simple in concept is not the same as the actual document being overly simplified and missing critical details.

A generic template you can find online can fall short in many ways. Such documents might be completely thrown out of a New York courtroom.

A prenuptial agreement drafted by a family law attorney who understands the proper way to compose such a contract has a better chance in court. New York prenuptials lawyers working with an established law firm specializing in divorce and family law can be well worth contacting.


Elements You Would Not Have in a Prenuptial Agreement

Certain kinds of clauses cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement, even when they are related to finances.

Custody, Support, Visitation

Clauses connected to the custody, support, and visitation of your children or any future children you may have can be included in your New York prenuptial agreement. While child support is indeed a monetary concern, in New York, deciding who the primary custodian of the children should be, who will be held responsible for paying child support, and the amount of child support needs to be paid in the event of a divorce is in the court’s jurisdiction. That said, a minimum amount of monetary support for children can be indicated in a prenup.

Details Other Than Finances

A clause that covers details that are not monetarily-based should be kept out of a prenuptial agreement. You must not detail frequency of sexual relations, requirements for housework, or visiting schedules for in-laws. Under certain circumstances, courts in New York might simply ignore these kinds of clauses.  On the other hand, in some scenarios, a judge would rule that terms like these render the entire agreement invalid.  

Unjust Clauses

Although a prenuptial agreement is legally binding, courts can render your agreement invalid if any of the causes are found to be unjust or deceitful. A good New York Prenuptials lawyer can review the proposed prenup before you sign to make sure it doesn’t contain terms that would be considered unfair for you.


Reasons for Requesting a Postnuptial Agreement

Much like during the creation of a prenup, in a postnuptial agreement, both parties must be totally transparent about all their assets and liabilities. The agreement may cover the rights and responsibilities of the spouses during the course of the marriage, as well as division of property and spousal support terms if the couple ever gets divorced.  

Sometimes, changes in financial circumstances, roles and relationships occur. Scenarios that may prompt a couple to get a postnuptial agreement include:

  • One of the spouses might have given up their career to stay home with the children.  That spouse may seek the security of having their financial interests are protected in case of divorce.
  • A husband and wife choose to start a business together.  They would need to clarify the differences among marital, business and separate assets.
  • One of spouse comes into a big inheritance. A court would customarily award the inheritance solely to that spouse in a divorce. There may be a desire to share out the inheritance differently than it would be distributed under New York legislation.  A couple might wish to clarify which property is part of the inheritance so it is not mixed in with marital assets.
  • One spouse incurred significant debt in the years before the marriage, and the other spouse wishes to clarify they are not responsible for that debt.
  • A specific situation triggered a loss of trust in the relationship, for instance, infidelity.


The Legal Requirements of a Postnuptial

Your postnuptial agreement must meet all the requirements set by the state of New York, and requirements are stricter for these agreements than for other types of contracts.

For starters, here are the basic requirements:

  • Your postnuptial agreement needs to be in writing.  A New York court will not honor an oral agreement. You and your spouse each need to sign the agreement of your own free will. Like in any other contract, if any deception became evident, or coercion or threats were involved when either you or your spouse signed, the court will reject it. 
  • An attorney must be present to help ensure that both parties enter the agreement voluntarily.
  • Each spouse needs to sign the agreement.  If it isn’t signed the right way, that could invalidate it. A postnuptial attorney can make certain that you and your spouse sign your postnuptial agreement correctly.


Preparing a Postnuptial Agreement for You and Your Spouse

If, for whatever reason, you didn’t get a prenuptial agreement, then it’s in your best interest to get into a postnuptial agreement as soon as possible. In the best of all worlds, you will never need it, but if you ever do, you’ll be glad you made the effort.

Our skilled postnuptial attorneys can guide you every step on the road to making sure your agreement holds up before a judge. Call Spodek Law Group.  We will help you create a postnuptial agreement that will protect your best interests.


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