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    Post-nuptial agreements for New York City residents may be appropriate when circumstances change during marriage and to avert disputes between the spouses. A postnuptial agreement can perform many of the same functions that a prenuptial agreement offers to couples. However, it is instead established after the marriage has taken place. 

    A post nuptial agreement may be considered when a relationship changes due to:

    • Career changes
    • Inheritance
    • Childbirth or Adoption
    • Other Factors

    What is the Purpose of a Postnuptial Agreement?

    In New York, postnuptial agreements are very similar to prenuptial agreements. They allow spouses to define their separate property and marital property, establish alimony or spousal maintenance and can also address pre-marital debt. Like prenuptial agreements, they cannot address issues like child support or custody.

    However, if you have children from a previous marriage and your spouse does not adopt them, a postnuptial agreement can help ensure that your children are provided for should you and your spouse divorce or separate.

    As in Pre-Nuptial agreements, Post-nuptial agreements need to spell out what will take place if the marriage ends. In the absence of such agreement, state law, as interpreted by a judge, after a lengthy and expensive trial., the disposition of assets will be determined under state law, as interpreted by a judge.

    If you need help with drafting or reviewing your postnuptial agreement, contact a reliable post-nuptial agreement attorney in New York City today! Call (212) 826-9900 or click here to schedule a consultation with Paul E. Rudder, Esq.

    Defining Marital and Separate Property

    While drafting your postnuptial agreement, you and your spouse will be able to identify which properties you want to be considered separate and which are to be considered marital. Remember, if you do not keep your separate property separate and in your name only, it may later be deemed marital property and can be divided in the event of a divorce. 

    You could also use a postnuptial agreement to protect a large inheritance. These are generally considered separate property as long as they are held solely in the recipient’s name, but the postnuptial agreement can confirm it as separate and protect this money or assets in the event of a divorce.

    Additionally, if there is a separate property you would like to be defined as marital property, this can also be accomplished using a postnuptial agreement.

    Other circumstances a postnuptial agreement can be considered are:

    Establishing Pre-Marriage Debt

    If you or your spouse brought substantial debt to the marriage, the postnuptial agreement can state that the debt stays with that spouse.

    Establishing Maintenance

    A postnuptial agreement can establish maintenance for you or your spouse during the marriage. This is important in the event one of you is giving up a career to raise your children. Additionally, a postnuptial agreement can establish what kind of support you or your spouse will pay to the other spouse in the event of a divorce, or it can establish that there will be no support in case you decide to divorce.

    Establishing Support for Children of a Prior Marriage

    If one or both spouses brought minor children into a marriage, then a postnuptial agreement can help ensure your children are provided for if you and your new spouse get a divorce.

    What Makes a Post-Nuptial Agreement Valid?

    In order to make sure this agreement is valid and enforceable complete disclosure of assets and liabilities of each spouse need to be in place. It is imperative to have an experienced matrimonial attorney to guide the parties and ensure that the agreement works for both parties. Something of the value must be exchanged to sustain the agreement validity. Drafting of such agreement always requires both parties to be represented by legal counsel.

    In order to avoid future or present disputes about assets and liabilities of each spouse, it is a good idea to put in place a Post-Nuptial Agreement.

    What Makes a Postnuptial Agreement Invalid?

    Obvious factors like fraud or coercion and duress can render a postnuptial agreement invalid. However, less obvious reasons may include you and your spouse failing to obtain separate attorneys as one spouse’s attorney isn’t permitted to provide advice to the other spouse. Another reason could be if the agreement appears to favor you or your spouse unfairly, leaving the other with nothing. If this occurs, the court may not be inclined to enforce the postnuptial agreement. To ensure that your postnuptial agreement will hold up in court if the time ever comes, it is crucial that to work with an attorney who has experience in drafting this type of document.

    Enforceable Postnuptial Agreements in New York City

    To ensure that your agreement is enforceable, the couple must ensure certain issues remain away from the provisions, signing an agreement itself. An experienced New York City divorce attorney can help you create the postnup document in such a way that ensures both sides have a fair and equal say in the provisions as well as understand the conditions set within it.

    Schedule A Consultation

    To speak with our NYC postnuptial agreement attorney, please contact local attorney Paul E Rudder, Esq. at (212) 826-9900. Our legal office serves the NYC area, including Manhattan. Our office is located in Midtown.

    New York City Postnuptial Agreement Frequently Asked Questions

    Q. What is a postnuptial agreement?
    A. A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, except that it is signed after the couple has married. A postnuptial agreement can cover the rights and responsibilities during the marriage, as well as the division of property and spousal maintenance issues in the eventuality the couple gets divorced.

    Q. Why should I consider a postnuptial agreement?
    A. There are many reasons to consider getting a postnuptial agreement including a change in financial circumstances, one spouse deciding to stay home with the children, one spouse getting an inheritance, premarital debt, or even a loss of trust in the relationship.

    Q. What can be covered in a postnuptial agreement?
    A. Postnuptial agreements can cover a number of issues including defining separate property, defining marital property, spousal maintenance, clarification of premarital debt, and support for children or a prior marriage.

    Q. Are postnuptial agreements enforceable in New York?
    A. Yes, postnuptial agreements are enforceable, but one of the spouses could challenge it for cause. Such reasons for this may include a fraud, coercion, or an inequity in its terms and unfairness because one of the spouses was not represented by an attorney when the agreement was created and executed.

    Q. If we do not have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, how will our property be distributed if we get divorced?
    A. Property brought into the marriage or inherited is likely to be considered separate property and will go with the spouse who brought it into the marriage. Should the divorcing parties not agree on the distribution of marital property at the time of divorce and there is no prior agreement, then the property will be divided by “equitable distribution”.

    Q. Will a postnuptial agreement affect who gets my property when I die?
    A. A postnuptial agreement will not affect property distribution after death, unless there is a clause in the agreement that indicates it should.

    Call (212) 826-9900 today to schedule a consultation with an experienced postnuptial agreement lawyer in New York City.