What do I Need to Know About Postnuptial Agreements?
The division of assets is a long and complicated part of divorce proceedings. It is because of this that spouses sometimes like to enter their marriage with a clear division of who would get which assets in the event that they divorce in the future. This can be done with a prenuptial agreement before they are married. However, if spouses choose not to do so before they are married and decide later on that they would like to, they are not out of luck. Instead, couples are able to create a postnuptial agreement at any point throughout their marriage to determine the division of assets. Continue reading below and contact an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney to learn more.
Why Create a Postnuptial Agreement?
Discussing a potential future divorce with your spouse is never an easy topic. However, talking about creating a postnuptial agreement can be beneficial for both parties, as its sole purpose is to protect the future of the assets that mean so much to you. Once the conversation is over, it never has to be talked about again. It is important to remember that considering a postnuptial agreement does not mean anything about the strength of your marriage, it simply allows you to be prepared for the unexpected. There are many reasons as to why a couple may draft a postnuptial agreement, such as:
- The couple did not define their financial relationship in a prenuptial agreement and now wish to do so
- One spouse’s financial situation experienced significant changes. This may happen if they receive a large inheritance, a job promotion, or acquire stocks or investment options.
- The marriage’s stability is affected by financial insecurity
- Both spouses want to avoid the uncertainty that comes with not having a plan in place in the event of a separation
- One or both spouses want to secure financial support for children from a previous marriage
Is My Postnuptial Agreement Valid?
It is important to know that there are certain guidelines that must be followed when creating a postnuptial agreement. This ensures that it is a valid, legal document. In the event that the agreement is made unlawfully, it can be deemed invalid and not be able to be used in court. There are five main qualifications for a postnuptial agreement:
- The terms must be fair and reasonable to both spouses
- Both spouses must have time to reach an informed decision about whether or not they want to sign the agreement
- A spouse cannot be manipulated, coerced, tricked, or pressured into signing the document
- Each spouse must retain separate legal counsel or waive their right to counsel in writing
- The financial status of each spouse and their assets must be accurately and fully disclosed before the signing
Contact our Firm
If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.