Pre and Post-Nuptial Agreements
The majority of us are familiar with the concept of pre-nuptial agreements, long considered the province of the super rich who are looking to protect their considerable assets in the event of a divorce. However divorce can be extremely expensive for many people, especially when it comes to the division of assets which are deemed to belong to both parties. Therefore it is becoming more and more common for couples to enter into pre and post nuptial agreements, to prevent serious losses in the event of a split.
A prenuptial agreement is of course a contract that is entered into by both parties prior to a marriage. It is very important that this agreement be signed by both parties, with appropriate witnesses to the act. Experienced legal advice is recommended in this case, and it is essential that both parties have their own separate legal counsel. A prenuptial agreement should never be signed directly prior to a marriage, as the pressure of the upcoming event can sometimes be cited as a form of duress if this agreement is eventually contested. In general it is best to sign a prenuptial agreement up to thirty days before the wedding.
Post nuptial agreements are quite similar to prenuptial agreements, expect these are contracts that are signed after the wedding date. These contracts tend to focus on the division and determination of joint assets, maintenance or alimony, inheritance rights etc. A common item that is included in pre and post nuptial agreements is the rights of both parties to properties owned by one member of the relationship, especially if these assets were purchased prior to the wedding. In general pre and post nuptial agreements ensure that one member of the couple cannot claim ownership to properties or assets held or acquired by their spouse during the marriage. If however any properties or assets are held jointly by both parties, these items can then be divided, usually in a prearranged manner.
Pre and post nuptial agreements can be very complex and must be put together very carefully by lawyers who are experienced in divorce litigation. Contact our New York divorce lawyers for information on how they can help you with this issue for a very low fee.