In Manhattan, spouses ending their marriage can file for divorce. State divorce laws decide how property division, child custody, marital debts and alimony. This can make it stressful for many spouses who want a divorce, but want to control how decisions are made. Some individuals who intend to marry decide to make a legal contract prior to marriage called a prenuptial agreement.
A prenuptial agreement is a legal document between two people intending to marry. The agreement generally outlines what will happen if one spouse dies or they divorce.
If spouses are already married and want to make decisions about how debts, marital property and other divorce-related topics are decided, they can make a contract called a postnuptial agreement.
Postnuptial Agreements are Valid and Enforceable According to New York’s Domestic Relations 50 Statute
A postnuptial agreement is basically the same as a prenuptial agreement. However, it is just for married couples. In the agreement, each spouse discloses alL the property and money they currently own. This disclosure includes both marital and separate property.
The agreement also outlines responsibilities each spouse must follow if they divorce.
Although New York law determines how divorce topics are settled when the marriage ends, a valid postnuptial agreement is beneficial. Manhattan divorce judges will recognize the decisions made in postnuptial agreements even if they differ from state law. It is important to stress that a postnuptial agreement must be valid in order for a Manhattan divorce judge to recognize it.
What is a Valid Postnuptial Agreement?
A valid postnuptial agreement is a legally binding document enforceable by law. This means that it cannot be challenged in court because it was created according to state laws. Many things can make a postnuptial agreement invalid, or not legal. For instance, if a spouse does not disclose the money and property they have during the postnuptial negotiations. If one or both spouses fail to tell what property or money they have, then it is considered fraud. Other things that will invalidate a postnuptial agreement such as:
.Having the same attorneys: Each spouse must have separate attorneys representing them during the postnuptial negotiations by law. If one attorney represents both spouses, the agreement is invalid.
.Duress or coercion: A spouse cannot be pressured into getting a postnuptial agreement. They cannot be forced to sign one either. If the agreement is not made in good faith and by the will of both parties, they document is not enforceable.
.Inequitable agreement: A prenuptial agreement cannot favor one spouse over another. This is considered an unfair agreement because it is too one-sided. For instance, one spouse cannot leave their spouse with nothing if they get a divorce. The court will not enforce the agreement.
The Subject Matter of a Prenuptial Agreement Settles any Issues that May Arise During a Divorce
A postnuptial defines who receives what in the event of a divorce or death of a spouse. The latter is important in postnuptial agreement because spouses may be in their second or subsequent marriage. They have children and want to leave property that their new spouse may receive to their children from a prior marriage instead.
The subject matter of a postnuptial agreement is includes the following:
.Separate property: Separate property is any asset, money or property owned solely by one spouse. Typically separate property is acquired prior to marriage. This property cannot be touched during a divorce.
.Marital property: Marital property is any money, asset or property owned jointly by both spouses. This type of property is owned by both spouses and will be divided during a divorce. Spouses can make separate property marital property in this agreement.
.Alimony: Alimony is paid from one spouse to their ex-spouse. The monthly payments are paid until the payer dies or the ex-spouse remarries.
Establish prior debts: The spouses can decide which debts are considered marital debts and which are considered separate and the sole responsibility of one spouse.
.Money for child from a prior marriage: Sometimes spouses may enter a marriage with children. The spouse who is not the biological parent may decide to provide financial support for the children if there is a divorce.
Contact a Manhattan Postnuptial Attorney for Help with Your Postnuptial Agreement
Many spouses seek a postnuptial agreement after a personal event like an affair. Regardless of the reason you are seeking a postnuptial agreement, you need separate legal representation. Contact us to represent you.
A postnup, also called a postnuptial, agreement is a legal contract between a married couple that settles potential such as property division and alimony. The agreement is made in the event the couple divorces or one spouse dies.
Married couples decide to obtain a postnup for many reasons besides the fact they may divorce. Many spouses try to save their marriage after a crisis such as one spouse having an affair. Another reason is this may be a second marriage. One or both spouses may have property or assets they want to provide to their children from a prior marriage. However, they must obtain a postnup to make sure that happens. Other reasons why married couples obtain a postnup include:
.Define what is marital property
.Define any maintenance obligations if they divorce
.Define separate property
.Significant change in one spouse’s financial status such as a job loss or business closing
When are Postnups Made in a Manhattan Marriage?
A postnup can be made at anytime during the marriage. This is different than a pre-nuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement is only made prior to marriage. Many couples typically seek a postnup any time there is a change in their lives that may require protection of assets, money or property. The goal of the postnup is to change a pre-nuptial agreement or make an agreement because something changed in their personal lives or in their marriage.
New York DRL 236b(3) Makes Manhattan Postnups Valid
State law requires postnups to be written legal document to be enforceable. Also, the agreement must include the following to be enforceable and valid by state law:
1. Each spouse must be represented by separate legal counsel.
2. The postnup must be fair to both parties. Any time a postnup favors one spouse over another it will be deemed invalid. One example is one spouse getting everything if they divorce the other spouse.
3. Each spouse must fully disclose all asset, property and money they own at the time of the postnup negotiations. State law requires full disclosure from both parties about any known or hidden assets, money or property each spouse owns.
4. Each spouse must enter into the postnup free of duress or coercion. This means a spouse cannot force their spouse to obtain or sign a postnup. The Basics of a Postnup Agreement in Manhattan
A postnup agreement outlines what happens in the event the couple divorces or one spouse dies. During postnup negotiations, each spouse agrees on one or more of the following depending on the circumstances:
1. What assets become or remain martial property: In a divorce, marital property, or community property, is owned by both spouses. This means it is divided between them in an equitable way.
2. What assets become or remain separate property: Separate property is any asset, cash or property own prior to marriage. It is solely owned and controlled by one spouse. It cannot be divided and give to the other spouse during a divorce.
3. How property will be divided: During a divorce property division involves determine who receives certain property such the family home, cars and jewelry. The spouses will determine who gets what in the postnup.
4. What debts will be marital or separate: Debts considered marital debts are paid by both spouses unless the postnup indicates one spouse will pay.
5. Alimony: Alimony or spousal support, is money paid by one spouse to their ex-spouse. It can be temporary or permanent monthly payments. If permanent, the spouses agree that the money will be paid until the spouse making payments dies or the spouse receiving the payments remarries.
Seeking a Postnup Agreement? Contact Us Immediately for Legal Representation
If you are sekking a postnup agreement in Manhattan, contact us for assistance. You need a skilled, experienced postnup attorney to represent you and get the terms you desire during the negotiations. Also, you need a postnup attorney to ensure the agreement is valid. The last thing you want is for the postnup agreement to be challenged if your spouse dies or if you two divorce.
Our firm has been serving Manhattan for years and representing clients our are well represented in postnup negotiations. You only deserve the best in your postnup negotiations. Contact us for assistance.
Post nuptial agreements work like prenuptials only that they are made after and not before a couple gets married. In post nuptial agreements, a couple will disclose the money and property they own and the responsibilities and rights each party will have during their marriage including how to divide property and money in case of a divorce or the death of one spouse. This webpage will discuss the contents of a post nuptial agreement, when to challenge a post nuptial agreement, when to avoid it, and how Manhattan postnuptial lawyers can help with these contracts.
What Issues Does a Post-Nuptial Agreement Address?
Identifies Separate and Marital Property-The assets and property that you own before you are married are classified as separate property. A post nuptial contract identifies which kind of property is separate. If you fail to distinguish separate property from property obtained after marriage, this property will be divided equally in a divorce. A post nuptial agreement is also used to identify any separate property that you want to classify as marital property.
Establishes Maintenance– A post nuptial contract can be used to establish maintenance in cases where one of you has given up their career in order to raise the children. A post nuptial agreement may also determine the support that you will pay the other spouse after a divorce or even establish whether there will be any form of support after a divorce.
Establishing Child Support- If you came into a marriage with minor children and your partner fails to adopt them, a post nuptial agreement ensures that the children receive support after a divorce.
Establishing Pre-Marriage Debt- If your spouse had substantial debts before marrying you, a postnuptial contract ensures that the debt remains with your spouse.
When Can You Challenge a Postnuptial Agreement?
The following are some of the grounds for you or your partner to challenge a postnuptial agreement:
If the agreement is not written- an oral agreement to divide marital assets is not recognized by the law
· If the agreement was not signed by one of the parties-both you and your spouse should append your signature on the postnuptial agreement and have it notarized
· If the agreement is not entered into voluntarily-if one spouse deceives, threatens, coerces, or forces their partner to sign an agreement, the contract cannot be enforced
· If the agreement is unfair-if a postnuptial contract is one sided, it cannot be enforced
· If there is no full disclosure- You must both disclose information regarding your income, assets, property, and debts
When to Avoid a Postnuptial Agreement
A post nuptial agreement might as well work against you. If you are the lower earning spouse, you may get less alimony and property than you would be likely to receive in a trial. A rich spouse may want to avoid alimony or splitting family property by using a post nuptial agreement to protect their assets and income.
Why You Need to Involve a Lawyer in a Postnuptial Agreement
Courts Favor Agreements Backed by Lawyers
The courts will most likely frown upon agreements that are not reviewed by lawyers. This is because one spouse may take advantage of the other when setting the terms of the contract. When people are married, they are entitled to certain rights and obligations. A post nuptial contract changes these entitlements, sometimes by waiver or through a mutual agreement, and one spouse may assume more obligations than is permitted by law.
To modify these obligations and rights through a postnuptial agreement, couples should be aware of what obligations and rights are mandated by law. This is accomplished through meeting with legal counsel. Furthermore, the involvement of an attorney will ensure the spouses fully understand every aspect in the agreement.
Improvements in the Agreement
One other benefit of an attorney is that they can be able find any flaws in the agreement. Your attorney is in a better position of asking questions, negotiating, and identifying issues with the contract and having these issues addressed adequately.
Each party in a postnuptial agreement needs to seek the services of a separate lawyer. Courts usually regard postnuptial contracts as unfair when only one attorney is involved. When each party has independent counsel, it is more likely for the judge to enforce the agreement in court. Although separate lawyer may come at a steep price, it is better than having the agreement declared null and void because the court has found that one of the spouse’s rights were insufficiently safeguarded.
Summing It Up
Post nuptial agreements are contracts used to safeguard the rights of spouses with regards to the ownership of financial assets and property. These agreements may be challenged based on various issues such as coercion, unfairness, and full disclosure. For better success with the enforcement of this contract, it is advisable to involve legal counsel.
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