manhattan postnuptial lawyers
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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.