While many couples may see them as unromantic, the fact is that prenuptial and postnuptial agreements may serve to protect independent individual assets from being put into the marital estate depending on their enforceability. Preparing these complicated and emotionally charged agreements requires that each side of the relationship have legal representation to protect and preserve their interests. The Law Offices of Paul A. Boronow, PC, stands ready to help.
Different Types of Agreements
Prenuptial agreements are those entered into before marriage. They define the items each person brings into the marriage and can protect separate assets, such as inheritances or family property or business from becoming a part of the marital estate.
Postnuptial agreements are those entered into between married parties that define the rights of each to certain property or assets. It is essential that all interests and ownerships be disclosed between the parties for a postnuptial agreement to be considered valid.
Attitudes Towards Pre & Postnuptial Agreements
For many couples, the execution of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is done to protect assets in the event of a divorce or separation, which admittedly, is not a romantic thought. Especially given prevailing attitudes about love and marriage and the fact that people generally don’t choose to get married while planning for divorce or separation. Prenuptial agreements have not always been popular in the general community. Postnuptial agreements, however, are even more circumspect as they are created between people who are already married to each other and whose property would therefore otherwise be considered marital property.
Because of these attitudes, and because of the stark reality that often one spouse has more assets than the other does, it may be risky to allow the court and the state to determine what a fair and equitable balance of assets would be. Instead, hiring experienced Long Island Family Law Attorneys to create detailed agreements spelling out rights and responsibilities may be a worthwhile investment.
Any such agreements will be subject to intense scrutiny by the courts to ensure no excessive influence was used in creating them. What then will be required is a complete disclosure of all assets, a definition of what is or was separate property and should be maintained as such, an opportunity for each party to confer with their own legal counsel, adequate time for each party to review and consider the terms, and an absence of undue influence. The agreement cannot be made under duress, with inadequate information, or be so one-sided as to be against public policy.
Need for Legal Representation
Because of the emotional and highly complicated nature of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, we encourage each party to retain his or her own counsel. The Law Offices of Paul A. Boronow, PC, offers you a free consultation to help you understand the ways in which prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can help preserve your individual rights without jeopardizing your status as a couple. Contact us at (516) 227-5353.