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
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
Interested in drafting a postnuptial agreement? Contact a New York family
law attorney at Friedman & Friedman PLLC, 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.