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If you need a postnuptial agreement drawn up or you’re going through a divorce and want to make sure that your existing postnuptial agreement is honored, Spodek Law Group can help. We have experienced postnuptial attorneys who know the ins and outs of these agreements.
What Is a Postnuptial Agreement?
You’ve probably heard of the term “prenup,” short for prenuptial agreement, which is a contract you and your significant other sign before marriage to arrange what will happen in the event of a divorce. This includes how you’ll divide property, what separate property each of you had and who will keep it, and if there will be any spousal support.
Far too many people avoid getting a prenuptial agreement because they’re worried about hurt feelings and they believe their marriages will last regardless. The reality is that a prenuptial agreement protects you if you get divorced, and it doesn’t come into play if you stay married. There’s no drawback to getting a prenuptial agreement, but not getting one could cost you.
If you didn’t get a prenuptial agreement, you still have the option of a postnuptial agreement, which is the same thing only it’s drawn up after the marriage instead of before it. Spodek Law Group can help you set up your postnuptial agreement and ensure that there aren’t any issues that could invalidate it.
Why Do You Need an Attorney for a Postnuptial Agreement?
Laws related to postnuptial agreements are complicated, and any mistakes in the agreement could invalidate it. At that point, any time and money you spent on the postnuptial agreement is wasted. Even worse, you could lose property or end up with an unfavorable divorce due to a court ruling.
New York has a few key requirements when it comes to postnuptial arrangements.
Fair for Both Parties
The primary factor that divorce courts will consider when it comes to a postnuptial agreement is whether it’s fair for you and your spouse. The court can throw out the postnuptial agreement when it makes its ruling if it feels the agreement leaves one of you at a significant disadvantage.
An important legal concept that comes into play with postnuptial agreements in New York is consideration. This means that when one party gains something, it also must give something up in return. Here’s a simple example – if you and your spouse own two houses, both of you would need to choose one for purposes of consideration. If a postnuptial agreement stipulates that you get both houses, the court may decide that’s not fair to your partner, unless you owned both those houses before the marriage and didn’t put your partner’s name on the title for either.
Don’t assume that because you had property or assets before you got married that you’ll keep them in a divorce. While this is how divorce is supposed to work, many people have lost property because they didn’t protect it with a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Get it in writing so you have a record of what was yours.
It’s best if you and your spouse hire independent attorneys to handle the postnuptial agreement, because this ensures that each of you has an attorney looking out for your own interests.
Disclosure of Assets
Part of the postnuptial agreement process involves you and your spouse disclosing all your assets, including potential assets you’ll have in the future. For example, if you may inherit money or property from a parent in the future, you need to disclose that.
Without full disclosure, a court may choose to ignore your postnuptial agreement, regardless of whether you made an honest mistake and forgot or if you were fraudulently trying to conceal your assets. A postnuptial attorney from Spodek Law Group will help you record all your current and future assets so you don’t miss anything.
The Signature Process
Even a minor error when you or your spouse signs the postnuptial agreement could render it invalid. You’ll be far safer if you have an attorney to verify that everything is signed correctly instead of trying to do it yourself.
Since a postnuptial agreement is a legal agreement, you and your spouse must sign voluntarily. If one party proves that they signed it under coercion, a divorce court won’t honor it. Having attorneys there during the signature process helps prevent this.
Make Sure Your Postnuptial Agreement Is Valid
Don’t go through the effort of drawing up a postnuptial agreement only to have a court throw it out when you need it most. Consulting with a postnuptial attorney is a wise choice, and the attorneys here at Spodek Law Group have years of experience. Contact us today to handle your postnuptial agreement.
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