Brooklyn Postnuptial Lawyers
While many couples think about prenuptial agreements after walking down the aisle, a postnuptial agreement occurs after a couple gets married. Postnuptial agreements can be reached when couples want to protect assets and income and divide them up in the event of a divorce or death.
Standards for Creating a Postnuptial Agreement
When forming a post-marital agreement, there are certain rules that need to be followed to keep the agreement from being nullified in court.
- Complete and fair disclosure. Everything touching on finances, income, and other things mentioned in the agreement need to be put out in the open.
- The other important condition of postnuptial agreements is that both parties should have independent legal representation. This means you must hire separate lawyers and that each lawyer should attach a certificate of independent legal representation to the agreement.
- A postnuptial agreement should also be signed intentionally and voluntarily. Any indication that one partner threatened or coerced the other into signing the agreement automatically nullifies it. Oral postnuptial contracts are considered invalid. Postnuptial contracts have to be in writing.
- A postnuptial agreement needs to be unconscionable. A contract that is one-sided or unjust towards one of the parties is not enforceable.
- In most cases, to make a postnuptial contract valid, the signatures of both parties have to be notarized. Some state laws require that the parties’ signatures be witnessed.
The Contents of a Postnuptial Agreement
The following are some of the issues featured in a postnuptial agreement:
- All debts and assets of your relationship together with any past or anticipated debts that could potentially ruin your marriage
- The family’s spending habits. Oftentimes in a marriage, you will find that one spouse is the sole bread winner while the other cares for the children. This is one reason the stay-at-home spouse may want to secure their financial future by entering into a postnuptial agreement
- How you expect to divide property after a divorce. The main motivation for a post-nuptial agreement is to divide property in case of a divorce instead of having the state dictate the way marriage property will be divided
- How you expect to divide property after one of you dies. This is important especially for people who are in their second or third marriage or a family where the children are from different spouses. If a will is in place, the post-marital agreement will simply uphold the terms and conditions of the will.
When to Avoid a Postnuptial Agreement
Postnuptial agreements are not for every spouse. A low earning spouse may receive less alimony and property in a postnuptial contract than if the case was to go to trial. A wealthy spouse who wants to avoid alimony, or who does not want to divide the family business, may use a postnuptial agreement to protect their assets and income in future.
How A Lawyer Can Help In Postnuptial Agreements
Legal Counsel: As stated earlier, postnuptial agreements are not for every couple. While there may be legal mechanisms of avoiding exploitation in postnuptial contracts, in some cases, it is either wrong or wise to enter into such agreements. Your lawyer will advice you on the implications of getting into a postnuptial agreement.
Protecting Your Interests: One of the basic rules of postnuptial agreements is fairness. Your lawyer will ensure that the agreement is in your interest.
Enforcing Postnuptial Agreements: Postnuptial contracts are made to be enforced in the event of the death of one spouse or after a divorce. Your lawyer will ensure that all the terms and conditions of the prenuptial contract are met.