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Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements in divorce

On Behalf of | Oct 26, 2023 | Divorce, Property Division

It is normal for couples in New York to come to some form of agreement that will detail what happens if they get divorced. This could be written before or during marriage. With a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it is important to understand what it means for both parties.

There could be questions about its validity, if it is fair and if it was completed according to the law. For people who have significant assets, this might be a major challenge with serious personal and financial implications. At the outset of the divorce, it is imperative that people are aware of the law so when the agreement is assessed, both sides are protected.

Understand the validity of prenuptial agreements

These agreements are often perceived as protection when a person enters a marriage with substantial assets and they are marrying someone who has less. However, there are myriad reasons why people might want to have prenuptial agreements. If there is a business at stake, there are commingled properties or there is a blended family, it might be wise to have a prenuptial agreement.

When there is this type of agreement, it will be considered valid if it is in writing and both sides have willingly signed it. People can set stipulations for most issues such as spousal support and property division. Even if it is complex, they can forge an agreement about it in the event of divorce.

Since two primary sources of dispute in a divorce are property and support, these are areas to consider if a person wants to question the validity. The keys are that the property and assets were fully disclosed and the results of the agreement are considered fair. With support, the amount cannot leave the person who is set to receive it unable to self-support and need state or federal assistance.

Be prepared for disputes regarding prenuptial agreements

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are designed to provide certainty, but that does not mean they are unassailable. Regardless of the justification for the agreement, there are fundamentals to remember if one or both sides question whether it can be enforced. If full disclosure was not given at the time it was signed, it could be void.

Before signing, each side should have the right to have independent legal guidance as to its contents. If there are disputes, the result can be exceedingly costly and problematic, so it is essential to be prepared and understand the ins and outs of family law and a prenuptial agreement.