New York and Connecticut Postnuptial Agreement Lawyer
Both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can be important planning tools for a couple. The main difference between the two is that a prenuptial agreement is signed prior to marriage, and a postnuptial agreement is executed after a couple is legally married. A family law attorney could help you navigate the complicated laws that regulate these agreements.
Since every situation is different, an attorney experienced with postnuptial agreements can draft an agreement specific to your needs. A comprehensive postnuptial agreement may be able to help you avoid misunderstandings and disagreements, and in the event of a divorce, it can provide clear guidelines for property division purposes, thereby streamlining the divorce proceedings and potentially saving time and money for all involved.
Benefits of a Postnuptial Agreement
There are many good reasons to enter into a postnuptial agreement. For example, a couple may already have a prenuptial agreement and wish to update it due to changed circumstances. Alternatively, one spouse may be the main breadwinner and the other spouse may want the financial protection of a postnuptial agreement, or a married couple may have started a small business and want to set clear expectations regarding duties and financial responsibilities.
Important Elements in Forming a Postnuptial Agreement
A postnuptial agreement is a contract between spouses. Under New York law, spouses owe each other the highest fiduciary duty when entering into legal contracts. This means that spouses must fully disclose all assets, the agreement must not be one-sided or unconscionable, and there must not be any fraud, deceit, or coercion. In addition, both sides must have an opportunity to review the agreement with separate attorneys.
Courts tend to scrutinize a postnuptial agreement more closely than a prenuptial agreement due to this heightened fiduciary obligation, and a poorly drafted agreement may be declared invalid by the court. A court may allow an agreement to dictate property division and spousal maintenance if the judge determines that there has been full disclosure, each spouse has signed freely and voluntarily, and that both sides have had legal counsel.
A couple can agree to include specific financial matters in a postnuptial agreement which can set clear expectations during the marriage, or for an eventual divorce if they decide to dissolve the marriage at a later date. However, although a couple may agree to parenting schedules and custody arrangements in a postnuptial agreement, issues involving custody of children can always be reviewed by a court based on the best interests of the children.
Support from Attorneys
A valid postnuptial agreement can save time, money, and worry in the future, whether you remain married or seek a divorce. If you are exploring or would like to explore a postnuptial agreement, consider meeting with an lawyer to discuss the matter.
Our lawyers can discuss your specific situation, elaborate upon available options, and explain the benefits of a postnuptial agreement. A valid and enforceable postnuptial agreement requires the guidance of an lawyer, so call today for a consultation.