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Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements in New York

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Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are made in order to make decisions regarding property and finances between prospective people. These agreements are enforced by law and help to avoid uncertainty if there was ever to be a divorce or death of a spouse. Agreements like these can be beneficial if one or both spouses have children from other relationships and would like to protect assets for their children in the future.

In order for either of these agreements to be valid they must:

  • Be written
  • Disclose all assets and debts of both parties
  • Be fair when entered into
  • Have signatures that are notarized
  • Follow public policy

Prenups are not solely for people with a lot of money, there are many reasons to draft this agreement, including:

  • To spell out property division to children from other relationships
  • To clarify financial rights and responsibilities during the marriage
  • To avoid arguments if you end up getting divorced
  • To protect yourself from debts of the other spouse

If you do not obtain a prenuptial agreement, state law will determine property division and alimony decisions if you and your spouse divorce. The process of property division in divorce can be time-consuming and costly. Drafting a prenup can save you the hassle of this process altogether. If anything, this agreement can provide you with peace of mind that there are arrangements in place just in case something was to happen between you and your spouse.

New York Postnuptial Agreements

This type of agreement is also termed "postnup" and this agreement is formed while spouses are married. Spouses oftentimes realize that they should have made a prenup and end up drafting the agreement during their marriage. A postnup is usually used if couples want to make arrangements for divorce or in case one spouse was to pass away.

This agreement can create provisions for any of the following issues that could come about:

  • Asset division
  • Child support
  • Alimony/ spousal support
  • Child custody
  • Visitation
  • Property division
  • Debt division

Prenups and postnups often carry negative connotations because people think to create this agreement you are doubting your marriage. In actuality, many people make these agreements to avoid uncertainty if one spouse dies. In order to avoid a long probate process, these agreements can make arrangements ahead of time. Prenups and postnups can be used if a couple foresees a divorce and wants to settle divorce issues ahead of time, but that is not the sole reason to draft an agreement.

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