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Manhattan Postnuptial Attorneys

August 7, 2018

Postnuptial agreements are made after couple gets married. A postnuptial agreement will disclose any assets, such as property or money, and state each spouses rights and responsibilities of these assets during the marriage. In addition, it will also disclose how the assets will be split in the event of a divorce. Postnuptial agreements address issues that may include:

Marital and Separate Property
The property and assets that you own before the marriage occurred is recognized as separate property, and a postnuptial agreement will identify which property is classified as separate. When couples fail to determine what is separate property and what is marital property, it will more than likely be equally divided during a divorce. In addition, a postnuptial agreement can also classify separate property as marital property if the couple chooses.

Child Support
When you get married and have children prior to the marriage, and if the other spouse doesn’t adopted them, a postnuptial agreement can be beneficial because it can make certain that minor children receive child support in the event of a divorce.

Maintenance (Alimony)
A postnuptial agreement can also be beneficial if one spouse stopped working to care for children during the marriage. In addition, it can determine how much one spouse will pay the other after a divorce.

Debt Before the Marriage
When one spouse has excessive debt that accumulated before the marriage, a postnuptial agreement can be helpful because it makes certain that all debt acquired before the marriage is kept with the spouse.

Is it Possible to Challenge a Postnuptial Agreement?
There are certain situations that can allow you to challenge a postnuptial agreement, which include:

When the postnuptial agreement was not put in writing. In New York, oral agreements are not recognized under the law;

When the postnuptial agreement wasn’t signed by both spouses. In order for it to be valid, it must be signed by both parties and notarized;

When the agreement was not voluntary. If one spouse threatens, forces, or deceives the other spouse into signing the agreement, it will not be valid under New York law;

When the agreement is unbalanced or unfair, it more than likely will not be enforced.

In addition, for a postnuptial agreement to be recognized by New York law, there must be full disclosure. This means both parties must disclose all information about property, assets, income, and debts.

When Should You Avoid a Postnuptial Agreement?
There are times when a postnuptial agreement can yield a negative result for one spouse. For example, if you are the spouse that earns less income, you may get a higher maintenance payment from the court during a trial as opposed to a postnuptial agreement.

Why is an Attorney is Vital for Postnuptial Agreements?
In New York, a postnuptial agreement that is not reviewed by a lawyer may not be upheld in court, which could be because one spouse may attempt to take advantage of the other. Married couples have certain obligations and rights, and a postnuptial agreement can alter the obligations with a mutual agreement or waiver. In addition, a postnuptial agreement can state that one spouse has more responsibility than the other.

When couples want to alter these obligations with a postnuptial agreement, it is advised to contact an attorney to understand what obligations are mandated by New York law. In addition, an attorney can also help couples understand every factor in a postnuptial agreement to ensure there isn’t confusion.

Each Spouse Needs a Separate Attorney
It is best for each spouse to seek help from a separate attorney when they are drafting a postnuptial agreement. When only one attorney is consulted for a postnuptial agreement, the court will more than likely decide the agreement is unfair. If each spouse has a separate lawyer, a judge will probably enforce the postnuptial contract in court. While it may be expensive hiring two attorneys, it is the best way to ensure the agreement isn’t void or null in court.

Postnuptial agreements are ideal contracts that can safeguard each spouses rights and separate property and assets under the law. If you are planning to draft a postnuptial agreement, contact a skilled attorney who can help prevent the agreement from being challenged due to failure to fully disclose information or coercion. Contact us today to help you develop a valid postnuptial agreement.

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