New York Postnuptial Agreement Attorney
Why You Need a Postnuptial Lawyer in New York
Similar to a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement is a legally binding contract and will be subject to review by the Court in the event of a divorce. It is best to have a postnuptial agreement lawyer draft or review your contract. Our Manhattan postnup attorneys will also inform you and your spouse of your individual rights and responsibilities.
What is a Postnuptial Agreement?
A postnuptial agreement is a contract that is entered into after you have already gotten married. In the contract, you and your spouse disclose all property you owned before the marriage. You then describe the rights and responsibilities each of you have during the marriage, as well as how you will divide your property in the event of divorce or the death of one or both of you.
Who Should Get a Postnuptial Agreement?
Any married couple can enter into a postnuptial agreement. Postnuptial agreements should be personalized to fit the individual needs of a married couple. Whatever the financial circumstance, a postnuptial agreement lawyer can help draft an agreement to protect your separate assets and simplify marital property division in the event of a divorce.
What are the Differences Between Marital and Separate Property?
Assets and debts you have prior to your marriage are your separate property/debt. Assets acquired, income earned or debt take on during the marriage is marital property/debt. During a divorce, your separate property or debt will remain your own; and your marital property or debt the Court will divide equitably. Not equally, but equitably. You can read more about equitable distribution here.
Marital Property or Debt
Only marital property is divided in a divorce. New York Equitable Distribution Law defines marital property and debt as all property or debt acquired by both or either spouse during the course of the marriage. Some examples of marital assets in New York include cash, stocks, securities, bank accounts, retirement accounts, 401(k)s, pensions, income earned during the marriage, real estate, jewelry, business interests etc.
Separate Property or Debt
Separate property or debt is yours exclusively. The court does not have a right to divide separate property between you and your spouse. Separate property or debt is any property or debt that you owned or incurred before the marriage. Separate property is also property you received as a gift or by inheritance or sums you received to compensate you for a personal injury. (Note: Sums you receive in a personal injury case for your lost income is considered marital property. But sums you receive for pain and suffering is separate property.)
Commingle or Mixing Property
Sometimes, you may commingle your assets or debts. This is when you mix your separate property with marital property. By mixing certain types of property, you risk turning separate property into marital property, which the court could divide between you and your spouse.
Example: Prior to your marriage, you own a securities account. The Court would consider this your separate property. But, during the marriage, you decide to join your securities account with your spouse’s. Upon making the transfer, your securities account may lose its separate property characteristic and morph into marital property to be distributed equitably during a divorce proceeding.
Difference Between a Prenuptial Agreement and Postnuptial Agreement
Prenuptial agreements are signed before the couple gets married. Postnuptial agreements serve the same purpose as a prenuptial agreement, except they are signed after the couple has gotten married. It is never too late to secure your separate and marital property in the event of a divorce. Contact a Manhattan postnup attorney today.
Postnuptial Agreement Checklist
Your postnuptial agreement may contain:
Disclosures concerning your marital and separate property;
Each spouse’s right to buy, lease, sell, transfer or otherwise control property;
Each spouse’s right to alimony, including the amount and duration of an alimony award;
The distribution of assets and debts acquired or taken on during marriage;
Each spouse’s entitlement to death benefits from the other’s life insurance policy;
New York State provisions which are subject to the agreement;
Child custody, visitation with children, child support, etc.;
Any other specific issue the couple wishes to address.
Postnuptial agreements cannot resolve all issues regarding the education, support, and care of future children. However, postnups can address some future child support and custody issues. The Court will refer to the postnuptial agreement before making the final decision on child custody and support. A postnuptial agreement lawyer will make sure to include or inform you of the provisions that ensure the ‘best interests of the child’ in the event of a divorce.
Contact Postnuptial Agreement Lawyers at Stepanian Law Firm
If you and your partner are considering a postnuptial agreement, it is crucial to have the assistance of an experienced Manhattan postnup attorney. Our firm will provide you with the necessary guidance to find the best option for you. Contact us here or call our offices at (646) 596-6874 today.