Most of us know what pre-nuptial agreements are, but fewer are aware of post-nuptial agreements, which is much like a pre-nuptial agreement. The difference between these two types of legal documents is that a pre-nuptial agreement is signed before either party says, “I do.” However, both legal documents address similar issues. If you and your spouse did not consider a pre-nuptial agreement prior to marriage, think of a post-nuptial agreement as a second chance to safeguard your futures in the event of a divorce.
Read on to learn more about post-nuptial agreements and what they can do for you and your spouse.
What’s Included in a Post-Nuptial Agreement?
Basically, the provisions that would be included in a pre-nuptial agreement would be included in a post-nuptial agreement. Some of the most common provisions one might include in a post-nuptial agreement include:
- How you and your spouse plan to divide property and assets
- If a spouse will pay spousal support and for how long they will be paid
- How marital debts, such as mortgage loans, credit card debt, and other loans will be divided
- How assets will pass if either spouse dies during the course of the marriage
What Makes a Post-Nuptial Agreement Valid?
For your post-nuptial agreement to be enforceable, it must meet certain requirements, which include the following;
- Your post-nuptial agreement must be written. Oral post-nuptial agreements will be considered invalid.
- Both parties must also agree to the post-nuptial agreement voluntarily and intentionally. If there is some indication that either party was coerced into signing this legal document, it would not be enforceable.
- Full and fair disclosure is also necessary for a post-nuptial agreement to be valid. This means that when both parties enter into this agreement, they must make one another aware of their assets, liabilities, and income. Full disclosure is critical due to the fact that a post-nuptial agreement essentially spells how assets, liabilities, and support are to be handled. If the information is inaccurate, the agreement cannot be enforced.
- Your post-nuptial agreement must also be fair. If it appears to be one-sided or unjust, it is likely that a judge will not enforce it.
- Additionally, your post-nuptial agreement will have to take state law into account, so make sure you seek legal assistance to ensure everything is in order. Your signatures will also have to be notarized.
When Should You Consider One?
People often mistakenly believe that when spouses enter into a post-nuptial agreement, it means that they are considering a divorce. This is a misconception, however. Below are some of the reasons why a married couple might choose to enter into a post-nuptial agreement:
- The most common reason is, of course, to divide assets and provide for spousal support in the event of a divorce.
- Either party can also use a post-nuptial agreement to waive spousal rights when one dies, superseding both state laws and wills.
- A post-nuptial agreement can also be used later on as a template for a separation agreement, outlining issues relating to child custody, child support, and spousal support.
Do I need to hire an attorney for a postnuptial agreement?
You may not be legally obligated to hire an attorney to help you with your postnuptial agreement, but working with a legal professional can ensure the agreement is fair. In some cases, it may be difficult to enforce agreements where only one spouse was represented. In many cases, hiring an attorney is the most prudent choice, even if your postnuptial agreement doesn’t seem complicated.
Postnuptial Agreement Attorneys in New York
At Goldweber Epstein LLP, our family law attorneys in New York can provide you with the legal advice you need to draft a binding post-nuptial agreement for you and your spouse. Backed by over three decades of experience, you can rely on our knowledge and insight to effectively navigate you through this process to ensure that your future and the future of your spouse are both safeguarded.
Contact our law office today at (917) 809-7669 to schedule a consultation and learn more about post-nuptial agreements.