What is a Postnuptial Agreement?

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If you and your spouse are a happily married couple, you most likely have thought about what would happen if you decided to split. This may seem like a rather dreary idea, and nobody would blame you for simply brushing it off. However, drafting a postnuptial agreement does not have to be so grim. Like a prenuptial agreement, there are several issues you may address that can help you and your spouse attain, or preserve, peace of mind going forward regarding your financial situation. If you and your spouse agree that a postnuptial agreement may be something worth considering, here are some of the questions you may have:

Why would a couple create a postnuptial agreement?

There are several reasons you may wish to draft a postnuptial agreement, and many of them have nothing to do with an impending split. However, drafting a postnuptial agreement is sometimes a rather touchy subject, and understandably so. This is why you must approach your spouse sensitively and honestly communicate your reasoning for drafting a postnuptial agreement. Some of the many reasons a New York couple may wish to draft a postnuptial agreement are as follows:

  • The couple did not define their financial relationship in a prenuptial agreement, and now wish to do so
  • A couple seeks to revise or clarify how property and assets will be divided in the event of a divorce
  • How marital debts, such as mortgage loans, credit card debt, and more will be divided if a couple should divorce
  • Whether one spouse will pay spousal or child support and for how long these payments shall be continued
  • A couple is seeking to define each party’s wishes for the property they bought or owned before their marriage
  • If one spouse has recently come into a significant amount of money via a job promotion, a large inheritance, won the lottery, etc.
  • One spouse may request future support if he or she stopped working to care for children
  • Financial insecurity is affecting the stability of a marriage
  • One or both parties seek to avoid the stress and expense of the equitable distribution process
  • How assets will transfer if either spouse dies during the marriage

How do I know if my New York State postnuptial agreement is valid?

The five primary qualifications for a valid prenuptial agreement are as follows:

  • The terms must be “fair and reasonable” to both parties
  • Both parties must have a reasonable amount of time to reach a thoughtful decision regarding whether or not they should sign the agreement
  • There must be no evidence of manipulation or deceit by either party
  • Each party must retain separate legal counsel, or explicitly waive their right to counsel in writing
  • The financial status of each party and any of the assets discussed in the agreement must be fully and accurately disclosed

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Matters of divorce and family law should be navigated with the guidance of an experienced attorney. If you need strong legal representation regarding matters of divorce, family law, and estate law, contact the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. to schedule a consultation today.

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I hired Susan to represent me in a divorce matter where I was fighting for custody and to limit my wife's equitable share of our assets. I won custody of our son, kept the marital residence, kept my professional practice, kept my building and paid less than half to my wife. This was after a long-term marriage. She could persuade the court that equitable is not equal and sometimes the man does deserve to win!

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The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. proudly serves clients throughout Suffolk County, New York in their divorce, family law, and estate planning matters. If you require the services of an experienced Suffolk County attorney, schedule a consultation with The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today.

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