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Why a postnuptial, prenuptial, separation agreement or divorce stipulation?

January 4, 2018

Prenuptial
Before getting married, many couples create a prenuptial agreement. States have their own regulations as to what can and can’t be included in the agreement. However, there are a few basic things that you’ll see in agreements in most states, especially in New York. If the couple separates, then the agreement will often be used to determine who keeps any finances or property so that there are no disputes about who owns what from the marriage. The agreement is often created so that each person is protected from the debts of the other. A prenup is often used to provide for children from a previous relationship so that they are tangled in the issues that might arise during the divorce. Property can also be included in the agreement so that each person involved in the marriage retains personal property instead of going through a debate as to who has legal rights. Any estate plans can also be included in the agreement.

Postnuptial
This is an agreement similar to a prenuptial but is prepared for people who are already married instead of before a couple gets married. The agreement can also be made by those who are in a civil union. Couples can include details about finances and property in the document just as they would in a prenuptial. The agreement can also include who is to pay spousal support after a divorce or separation.

Many people have questions about which agreement is the best to have. A prenuptial is the best solution for couples who have not yet entered into a marriage or who have not yet moved in together and entered a civil union. If there are any questions about finances or property after a couple is married, then a postnuptial is the best option. An attorney should talk to the couple to determine what should be listed in either type of agreement that is made.

Separation Agreement
If a couple decides to take some time apart during a marriage or civil union, then a separation agreement should be completed. The date of the separation is listed in the agreement, which is beneficial if the couple decides to pursue a divorce as most states require that a couple remain separated for one year before divorcing. The agreement often includes any support that one party is to pay to the other as well as how any property is to be divided. It can also outline the visitation schedule for children. There is sometimes a good bit of negotiation involved in creating a separation agreement as one party might not want to end the marriage while another thinks that it’s the best decision. This is why it’s only a separation period instead of a divorce. It allows for time for the couple to examine the relationship and personal goals before making a final decision. The couple can enter into mediation to see if there is any possibility of salvaging the marriage before a divorce is filed.

Divorce Stipulation
In New York, this is sometimes known as a Marital Stipulation. It typically involves property that is to be divided after a marriage or civil union dissolves. Property rights, such as who maintains control or owns a home or vehicle, is often included in this kind of agreement. Child support obligations are also included in this agreement. Although similar to a separation agreement, this is one that is a bit more detailed. It’s often filed after the divorce has been finalized and becomes a part of the judgment. When the couple agrees on all of the terms about finances, children, and property in advance, then it’s easier to end the marriage than it would be to deal with each issue that might arise as it comes.

There are several benefits of creating any kind of marital document. One is so that each party is protected during the marriage if the union is dissolved. When you meet with an attorney or go before a judge, the documents that you have created will be evidence as to the agreements that have been made between the two of you. The court will have an easier time in deciding who gets the house, who gets the vehicles, who pays child support and how you want to arrange any kind of custody for your children. These documents will often result in spending less money during the divorce because you won’t need to continue to meet with attorneys or take time off from work as everything has already been arranged. Most New York courts will uphold any or all of these agreements that are made by couples whether they are married or not or in a civil union.

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