Postnuptial Agreements

What is a Postnuptial Agreement?

A postnuptial agreement, also known as a postnup or post-marital agreement, is a legal contract entered into by a married couple after their wedding. This agreement outlines the division of assets, debts, and other financial matters in the event of a divorce or separation.

Postnuptial agreements are often used to establish clear guidelines and expectations regarding financial matters within a marriage. They can be particularly useful when circumstances change during the court of a marriage, such as when one spouse receives a significant inheritance, when a couple is going through marital difficulties, or when they simply want to establish a framework for how their assets and responsibilities will be managed in the future.

Drafting of a Postnuptial Agreement.

The main purpose of a postnuptial agreement is to provide clarity and protection to each spouse regarding their financial rights and responsibilities in the event of divorce or separation. It can address various issues such as property division, spousal support (alimony), division of debts, and other financial matters.

It is crucial that a postnuptial agreement meet the following criteria:

Voluntary Agreement: Both parties must enter into the agreement voluntarily, without coercion or duress.
Full Disclosure: There must be a complete and honest disclosure of each party’s assets, debts, income, and financial obligations at the time of the agreement.
Independent Legal Representation: Our office will not prepare a postnuptial agreement unless both parties are represented by independent counsel.
Fair and Reasonable Terms: The agreement should not be unconscionable or significantly one-sided. It should be fair and reasonable to both parties.
In Writing and Signed: Postnuptial agreements must be in writing and signed by both parties to be enforceable.
No Violation of Public Policy: The agreement cannot contain provisions that violate public policy or criminal laws.

Is it required that my spouse have their own attorney?

While the law does not require it (except in certain circumstances), our office will only work on postnuptial agreements if both parties have an attorney to guide them. We do not waiver from this rule because if only one side has an attorney, and the other does not, the agreement may be more susceptible to attack should the party without an attorney attempt to invalidate the postnuptial agreement down the road.

Is a postnuptial agreement right for me?

The answer is “it depends”.  Contact our office for a free consultation to discuss if a postnuptial agreement is right for you.

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