11 Aug 23

Post-nuptial Agreements 101

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Last Updated on: 2nd October 2023, 06:51 pm

Securing Your Financial Interests: The Importance of Post-nuptial Agreements

While getting married can be an exciting experience, many couples tend to lose sight of the financial ramifications of a marriage gone wrong. It is important to secure your financial interests after you get into a marriage. One of the best ways of doing this is through entering into a post-nuptial agreement after you get married.

What is a Post-nuptial Agreement?

This is a legal contract entered into after a couple gets married. The agreement lays out the criteria that will be used for dividing the couple’s assets and debts in the event of a separation or divorce. The contract details the division of property that is gained individually and together.

What Issues Are Addressed by a Post-nuptial Agreement?

Defining Separate Property

The assets and property that you own before getting married are classified as separate property. Provided you distinguish your separate property from the property you and your spouse will acquire together, the separate property is yours even after a marriage turns sour. A post-nuptial agreement outlines the separate property of spouses to prevent it from being divided equally in the event of a divorce.

Defining Marital Property

A post-nuptial agreement also identifies property you may want to be deemed as marital property. Marital property is divided equally in the event of a divorce.

Sets Down the Terms Of Maintenance

A post-nuptial agreement can lay out the terms of maintenance for you or your spouse. The issue of maintenance arises when one of you is abandoning their career to raise the children. A post-nuptial agreement will also establish the kind of support you or your spouse will pay after a divorce, or establish that a spouse is not entitled to support when they decide to divorce.

Sets Down the Terms Of Support For Children From a Prior Marriage

If you came into a marriage with minor children, a post-nuptial agreement will ensure they are provided for after a divorce. The agreement will set down the terms of support for your spouse’s stepchildren.

Sets Down the Terms of Pre-marriage Debt

If you or your spouse entered into the marriage with substantial debt, a post-nuptial agreement will indicate that the debt remains with that spouse.

When Can The Validity Of A Post-nuptial Agreement Be Challenged?

Duress: A post-nuptial agreement should be entered into voluntarily. If a spouse is forced to agree to the contract, the agreement is not valid.

A Consciousable Agreement: For a post-nuptial agreement to be enforceable, it must be fair to both parties. A spouse can challenge the validity of an agreement that tends to be partial to the other spouse.

Non Complete Disclosure: When entering a post-nuptial agreement, both parties have to give a full disclosure of their assets. If it is later discovered that one spouse held back information about their assets or property, the agreement is deemed to be invalid.

A Written Agreement: A post-nuptial agreement has too much at stake to be regarded as a gentleman’s agreement. The validity of a post-nuptial agreement can be challenged if it is not in writing.

The Take Away

Many couples enter into a marriage believing in the forever after depicted in fictional stories. Unfortunately, most marriages do not last that long and when they end, the couples involved engage in a bitter and costly contest for assets, property, support, and other avoidable issues. To secure your financial interests and that of your children, you should enter into a post-nuptial agreement. For assistance with the intricacies and legalities of post-nuptial contracts, consult a New York Post-nuptial Attorney.