Nassau County Postnuptial Agreements
Often when people marry, a prenuptial agreement is the furthest thing from their minds. But as time goes on, situations change, and concerns for the future increase, an agreement between spouses may begin to make a lot of sense. After you are married, you can have a Nassau County postnuptial agreements lawyer draft an agreement between the spouses. A postnuptial agreement can be a good vehicle for spouses to discuss important issues such as finances before altercations arise. A leading cause for divorce is arguments about financial issues, so thinking through money issues and reaching an agreement can promote harmony.
Of course, postnuptial agreements may also include topics that are related to divorce such as child custody, property division and support maintenance. If a postnuptial agreement seems like a good idea to you, consult with a good Nassau County family law attorney who has created postnuptial agreements that stand up in court and protect the rights of the client.Reasons for a postnuptial agreement
At first glance, it may seem unnecessary to execute a postnuptial agreement, but there are very solid reasons for doing so.
- A couple has seen financial changes in their circumstances.
- Perhaps one of the spouse’s quit their high powered job to raise the children and wants to be sure they are protected.
- Another example is a couple who is opening a small business and wants all the finances around that business to be clear.
- One spouse could have come into an inheritance and wants to define the line between personal and marital property.
- One spouse could have incurred significant debt before the marriage, and the other spouse does not want to be responsible for it.
- Sometimes a change in the relationship itself can spark the desire to execute a postnuptial agreement. Loss of trust due to infidelity for example, may influence a couple to have a lawyer draft a postnuptial agreement to outline issues relevant to divorce. Property distribution and child custody are often addressed in postnuptial agreements. By the way, the judge at the Nassau County court would ultimately decide child custody in the best interests of the child, but an agreement can help couples to work through issues and know what they will request.
There are a variety of issues that can be negotiated and addressed in postnuptial agreements. It is up to the couple to determine what they would like to include in their agreement. Common topics include:
- Defining marital property vs. individual property. Even though a couple is married, some property is legally owned only by one of the individuals and thus not subject to the equitable distribution of marital property should the couple divorce. This would include property the spouse brought into the marriage and any inheritance. It can be helpful in case of a divorce or sometimes in the case of probate for there to be a postnuptial agreement between the parties that clearly differentiates between marital and individual property. In the case of real estate, whether the real estate is in Nassau County or elsewhere, if a spouse wants the property to be identified as separate property, it is important to maintain it only in their name as an individual. In the alternative, couple may also state that certain property is to be considered marital property even though otherwise it could be considered separate property.
- Spousal maintenance. Just as in a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement can cover who is to receive spousal maintenance in case the marriage dissolves, the amount and the duration.
- Debt responsibility. A postnuptial agreement can indicate the amount of debt each party brought into the marriage and who is responsible for it. Be aware that debt incurred after the marriage is subject to the laws beyond the domestic relations court if both spouses are legally responsible for the debt.
- Custody and visitation. A post nuptial agreement enables parties to work out their views on child custody and child support before the emotional roller coaster of a divorce is in process. As already mentioned, the determination of these issues ultimately resides with a judge, but certainly the parties’ wishes are very important to that decision.
Under Domestic Relations Law §236(B)(3) of the state of New York, postnuptial agreements are recognized if they meet specific requirements. Spouses owe each other a fiduciary duty, so they must fully disclose their finances. The agreement must be fair and free of coercion. It also must be in writing, signed and recorded. Courts are more likely to overturn a postnuptial agreement than a prenuptial agreement, but if the agreement is fair, finances were fully disclosed and both spouses consulted with an attorney, a court will let the postnuptial agreement govern spousal maintenance and property distribution.Nassau County Postnuptial Agreements Lawyer
If you are considering a postnuptial agreement, it is important to consult with an experienced family law lawyer in Nassau County. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has 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.