Queens Postnuptial Law Firm
While postnuptial agreements may not be as familiar to most people as prenuptial agreements, they are rising in popularity among married couples. While a postnuptial agreement may not be the right move for every family, learning more about them can help you determine if it is right for you and your partner.
What is a Postnuptial Agreement?
Also known as a post-marital agreement, the postnuptial agreement outlines the financial obligations of each party in the relationship. In the event of a divorce, the ownership of financial assets will already have been established by the agreement, so lengthy disputes in the Queens family court system can be avoided. The document may also outline financial obligations toward raising children and establish parental roles in the marriage.
The primary goal of a postnup is to outline how assets are to be distributed in the event of a divorce. This helps couples who have not previously enacted a prenuptial agreement, so concerns over how finances will be divided won’t cause further tension. While the relationship is still on solid ground, the couple works together to decide the best method for dividing assets if it becomes necessary in the future.
In addition to relieving tension that may arise from the uncertainty of divorce, a postnuptial agreement helps couples make fair arrangements for the termination of their marriage. In the future, when negative emotions have impacted the relationship, it will be much more difficult to treat one another fairly. In this way, the postnup offers a guarantee that one party won’t be able to take advantage of the other.
The Elements of a Postnuptial Agreement
While a Queens couple has some freedom in deciding what to include in their postnup, the document must abide by certain rules. For instance, this cannot be an oral agreement. In order for any postnuptial agreement to be binding, it must be completed in writing and it must be signed by both parties. Since the law also requires that the document is signed of each party’s own free will, it may also be necessary to have the agreement witnessed and notarized.
The terms of the agreement must be fair to both parties. If this isn’t the case, disputes may still arise at the time of a divorce and the document may be found to be invalid. If one spouse attempts to manipulate his or her partner in an unconscionable way to profit by the divorce, this may also be grounds to have the agreement dissolved.
The postnuptial doesn’t always restrict itself to the division of assets after a divorce. In fact, many such agreements also detail what will happen to assets in the event that one spouse dies. This may be included to give a spouse an opportunity to waive rights to certain assets that he or she might otherwise receive. This may help ensure an adult child, conceived out of a previous relationship, receives an inheritance.
The primary focus of the postnuptial agreement does concern the failure of the marriage, however. For instance, it will address how assets are to be divided at the time of divorce, who will be responsible for paying child or spousal support, and how the custody of minor children will be arranged. Since these issues can lengthen the divorce process considerably, addressing them in advance can save time and money for both parties. As a part of finalizing the divorce, the postnuptial agreement becomes a part of the finalized divorce document under Queens family court law.
Three Reasons to Obtain a Postnuptial Agreement
1. Children from a Previous Relationship
The financial support and custody for children from previous relationships can be outlined in the agreement. This avoids confusion down the road, because the biological parent can outline how custody will be established. It also establishes what financial support the child should expect from either parent. This may be especially important, if the child’s other parent is no longer living.
2. Keep Specific Assets
You may have tangible assets that hold sentimental value or you may have plans for a specific investment account. In either case, you may see those assets liquidated and split between you and your spouse in a divorce. Alternatively, you can work out a compromise that lets you keep those assets, when you and your spouse set up a postnuptial agreement.
3. Save You from an Addiction or Legal Problem
Suppose your spouse becomes addicted to drugs or gambling down the road. If there’s a postnuptial agreement in place, you can ensure your own assets are protected. This can prevent courts from liquidating your own assets to cover the debts of your spouse.
While a postnuptial agreement can be viewed in a negative light by those fearing that it predicts doom for the relationship, it can actually help a couple feel more confident. They won’t feel as nervous about placing their trust in each other, when they know they’ll be financially protected in the event of a divorce. Enacting a postnup often eases tension in the relationship and helps couples feel as though they’re acting in the best interests for each other and for their children.