Contemplating Divorce? Why a Postnuptial Agreement is Important

A-list actors and billionaires aren’t the only ones who enter into prenuptial agreements. CEOs, public figures, millionaires, business owners, and individuals with any sizeable assets enter into prenups before walking down the aisle.

We recommend that high net worth individuals, or anyone with real estate, personal assets, a business, or children from a previous marriage enter into a prenuptial agreement before getting married, but alas, some people find prenuptial agreements unromantic or they think that their marriage will be bulletproof until things unpredictably go sideways.

If you entered into a marriage contract without a premarital agreement and now you’re beating yourself up for neglecting this essential legal document, it’s not necessarily too late. If you’re now contemplating divorce, or if you’re regretting your decision to forgo a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement is still on the table.

A postnuptial agreement is essentially the same thing as a premarital agreement only it’s entered into after the marriage. Once the document is created, it has the same effects as a premarital agreement.

Benefits of a Postnuptial Agreement

  1. Control of spousal maintenance, which can be completely out of your control if you and your spouse cannot agree on an amount and/or timeframe.
  2. Control of how marital assets will be distributed. For example, instead of your income earned during the marriage being subject to division under New York’s equitable distribution law, your income can remain yours if agreed-upon in your postnup.
  3. Control of how real estate assets are divided. Instead of real estate acquired during the marriage being subject to division, you can state that certain real estate assets shall remain yours in the event of a divorce.
  4. Control of business assets. In the absence of a prenup or postnup, a business started or purchased during a marriage is typically a marital asset. Upon a divorce, the business may be subject to division, even if the dependent spouse had zero involvement in the building or running of the business. A postnup can state that the business shall remain a separate asset, belonging to the spouse who worked the business and not the uninvolved spouse.
  5. Reduce the costs incurred in a contested divorce.
  6. Reduce the conflict and emotional stress involved in a high net worth divorce.

Note: Neither a premarital nor a postmarital agreement can govern matters pertaining to parental rights, child support and child custody. As always, child custody and support disputes are decided by a family court judge.

Even if you’re madly in love and are not contemplating a divorce, you can still obtain a postnuptial agreement. If your spouse has a change of heart or if something totally unexpected happens, you’ll have an agreement in place that reduces the heartache, aggravation and expense of a traditional divorce.

To learn more about postnuptial agreements in Putnam County or the surrounding areas, contact our firm today.

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