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Should I Draft a Postnuptial Agreement?

There are many couples who do not draft and sign a prenuptial agreement with their fiance before they get married. This may be for a variety of reasons. However, they may change their minds at some point throughout the marriage and wish they had created an agreement regarding the future of their assets should they reach the point of divorce. While prenuptial agreements can only be signed before a marriage, postnuptial agreements can be created after the fact.

Postnuptial agreements serve the same purpose as a prenuptial agreement. Discussing these documents is usually a sensitive subject, even though it may have nothing to do with the confidence in a marriage. It is important to approach a spouse honestly and be open about drafting a postnuptial agreement to benefit both parties in the long run. It is beneficial to retain the services of an experienced attorney during this time to assist you in the process.

What is a Postnuptial Agreement?

There are numerous reasons as to why a couple would want to create a postnuptial agreement for themselves. Some of the most important matters they wish to address within the agreement can include the following: 

  • Both parties seek to avoid the uncertainty of the equitable distribution process
  • One or both parties want to secure financial support for their children from a previous marriage
  • To define their financial relationship regarding which assets belong to whom
  • If one spouse’s financial circumstances change significantly. This may occur in the event of a job promotion, the acquisition of stocks, a large inheritance, or even winning the lottery.

What Makes a Postnuptial Agreement Valid?

In order for a postnuptial agreement to be considered a valid document that is enforceable by the state of New Jersey, it is required to meet certain requirements. This can include the following:

  • Both spouses have separate legal counsel, or else explicitly waive their right to counsel in writing
  • Both parties fully and truthfully disclose their financial status and other assets addressed in the agreement 
  • The terms of the postnuptial agreement must be “fair and reasonable” to both parties, not just one
  • Both parties have a fair amount of time to reach an educated and rational decision about whether they should sign the agreement
  • The document must be created and signed without any manipulation, intimidation, deception, or emotional pressure 

Contact our Firm

If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.