New York Postnuptial Agreement Attorney

Family Lawyer Serving Long Island

Postnuptial agreements are contracts that couples may enter after their marriage in order to address certain important matters, such as alimony, property division, and even child support, in the event of a future separation agreement or divorce. Postnuptial agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements in many ways, save for the fact that they are drafted after couples have already wed. A postnuptial agreement can help provide you and your spouse with peace of mind regarding your assets and property, and give you both the financial security you will need should you end up having to dissolve your marriage.

Interested in drafting a postnuptial agreement? Contact a New York family law attorney at Friedman & Friedman, Attorneys at law today. Our team can answer any questions you might have regarding this topic and can assist you in determining if this is the best option for you, what issues you should address, and how to create it in a way that ensures your interests are protected in the event of a divorce or separation.

What is the Purpose of a Postnuptial Agreement?

Postnuptial agreements in New York are very much like prenuptial agreements. They allow spouses to define separate property and marital property, establish alimony or maintenance, and even address pre-marital debt. However, it cannot address issues like child support or custody and choosing to include such stipulations can result in a voided agreement that cannot hold up in court. Issues relating to child custody and support must be determined by what is in the best interests of the children, so keep these issues out of your agreement.

If you have children from a previous marriage and your spouse does not adopt them, a postnuptial agreement can help ensure that your children are provided for should you and your spouse divorce or separate.

Marital and Separate Property

While drafting your postnuptial agreement in New York, you and your spouse will be able to specifically identify which properties are separate and which are marital. Remember, if you do not keep your separate property separate and in your name only, such property might later be deemed marital property and divided despite your postnuptial agreement. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain it as separate to ensure that it does not end up on the chopping block.

For example, if you each brought a significant amount of cash into the marriage and deposited it into a joint account, those funds would later be considered marital property. You could also use a postnuptial agreement to protect a large inheritance. These are generally considered separate property as long as they are held solely in the recipient’s name, but the postnuptial agreement can confirm it as separate and protect it in the event of a divorce.

If there is some separate property you would like to be defined as marital property, this can be accomplished through a postnuptial agreement as well.

What Makes a Postnuptial Agreement Invalid?

While more obvious factors like fraud or coercion and duress can render a postnuptial agreement invalid, there are other less obvious reasons why a court might view a postnuptial agreement with extreme circumspection. If you and your spouse failed to obtain separate attorneys, the court will closely examine your agreement for unfairness and might decide not to enforce your postnuptial agreement if they suspect anything is amiss. Furthermore, even if you and your spouse obtained separate attorneys, it is possible that the court might still decide not to enforce your postnuptial agreement. For example, if the agreement appears to favor you or your spouse unfairly, leaving one with nothing, the court will not be inclined to enforce it.

To ensure that your postnuptial agreement will actually hold up in court if the time ever comes, it is crucial that you work with an attorney who has experience in drafting these types of documents.

Postnuptial Agreements in New York

Postnuptial agreements can provide a number of benefits for both spouses. Not only will a postnuptial agreement outline what should happen in case of a divorce or separation, but this agreement can also take a great deal of pressure from a marriage and give both spouses confidence in their future arrangements. A postnuptial agreement must be fair when entered into, or it is likely it will be invalid when the time comes to enforce it. This takes careful planning with a skilled attorney.

Generally speaking, for a postnuptial agreement to be valid, it must be in writing, must be voluntarily agreed upon by both parties, must have full and fair disclosure at the time of the agreement, and must be executed before a notary public.

Contact an attorney at our firm today if you are considering a post-marital agreement and need legal assistance.