Bronx Postnuptial Agreements
We often hear about prenuptial agreements, and there is a common misconception that if you did not sign a prenuptial agreement before you were married, it is too late after the fact. In the Bronx or anywhere in the state of New York, this is simply not true. If you wish you had signed a prenuptial agreement, or you think issues have developed that would be best clarified in a formal agreement, consult with a good Bronx postnuptial agreements lawyer about whether a postnuptial agreement makes sense for you. Sometimes situations change in the course of a marriage, and working through a postnuptial agreement is a way to define the changed circumstances. Whatever the reasons, negotiating the terms of a postnuptial agreement and getting them down on paper can often actually help a couple to think out financial issues, resulting in less tension in the marriage. And if they do eventually get a divorce, it will be that much easier and faster if a valid postnuptial agreement is in place.Why Sign a Postnuptial Agreement?
Some people decide a postnuptial agreement is a good idea due to changed financial circumstances. Others sign one because the relationship itself has changed. Possibly there was a loss of trust due to infidelity, which has the betrayed spouse thinking they should protect themselves. There may be some hesitation to contact a Bronx attorney to draft a postnuptial agreement, because of the time and trouble involved or a fear it might put the marriage at risk to examine property division and other issues related to divorce.
But there are very good reasons for both parties to consider signing a postnuptial agreement. Here are a few:
- Clarify what is marital property that can be “equitably distributed” between the parties in case of divorce and what is separate property. Generally, marital property is that acquired during the course of the marriage with the exception of inheritances, which are separate property.
- Protect a spouse who gave up their career to take care of the children. After people marry, the decision for a spouse to stay home with the children may come about gradually, the spouse thinking they may eventually return to work. The other spouse, in the meantime, might build a high-powered career.
- Protect assets of a new business from being comingled with marital assets. It is not always as simple as it sounds to keep straight what is marital property and what is business property if a couple goes into business together.
- Clarify what property is from an inheritance. If a couple is married a long time, it is easy for much of their property to become intermingled.
- Designate responsibility for debt brought into a marriage
- Detail alimony duration and amount
- Specify child custody, child support and child visitation
Normally, postnuptial agreements address division of property and spousal maintenance, though it is possible for them to also cover matters that relate to the couple’s children such as child custody, child support and visitation schedules. Of course, no matter what the couple may agree to, a Bronx court will decide issues about the children with the best of interests of the child as the primary guiding factor. IF you have other types of issues you would like to include in your postnuptial agreement, that may be possible. You should discuss issues you want to include in a postnuptial agreement with a Bronx attorney who is experienced in these matters.Legal Recognition of Postnuptial Agreements in New York
Postnuptial agreements are valid in the Bronx and throughout the state of New York under Domestic Relations Law §236(B)(3). Of course, the parties must meet specified conditions for their agreement to be valid. For example, they must be transparent about their financial circumstances. One party may not threaten or otherwise force the other party into signing. It also may not be an oral agreement. It must be a written agreement that is property signed by both parties and recorded. Courts will normally recognize the strength of a postnuptial agreement unless there is a good reason not to do so such as fraud or blatant lack of fairness.Bronx Postnuptial Agreements Lawyer
If you are considering a postnuptial agreement, a Bronx attorney experienced in the area can explain your options. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience successfully representing clients seeking prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, as well as representing clients in divorces and on issues related to custody, child support and spousal support. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.