I met with a couple on Zoom recently who told me they wanted to know how
a postnuptial agreement works.
They decided a postnuptial agreement for their marriage of 15 years would
be the perfect band-aid for their unhappy marriage. They weren’t
quite ready to call it quits, but they needed to hold each other accountable
for some of the indiscretions in their marriage.
They had both cheated, were going through a tough time, but wanted to go
to therapy and hold on to their marriage because they still loved each
other. They wanted to define and document the conditions of their marriage
and do it legally.
A postnuptial agreement has saved many marriages! A postnuptial agreement
is also a great tool for the smoother transition of an eventual divorce!
So….. What is a Postnuptial Agreement?
A postnuptial agreement or “postnup” is a written and properly
executed agreement that can be put into effect
after you are married. The agreement documents obligations and responsibilities
of each partner.
What can be covered in a Postnuptial Agreement?
Most issues that are important to your marriage. For some, it addresses
financial concerns, children, religion; for others infidelity, inheritances,
psychological issues and for the couple I mentioned earlier - parameters
for their marriage and the financial consequences if either party deviates
from the plan.
Creating a Postnuptial Agreement can be theraputic!
Couples get to discuss and review all the issues that are important to
their marriage. They can establish boundaries and create a plan that works
for both of them.
Couples often decide to create a postnup to address one issue and after
a discussion with me find there are other issues that need to be addressed
too, like the consequences of a spouse’s gambling habit.
As a psychologically-trained divorce attorney and mediator, I encourage
clients who are having difficulties but want to save their marriage to
consider a postnuptial agreement.
The development of a postnuptial agreement helps both parties have a voice,
be heard, and have professional guidance to arrive together at an agreement
that gives them both peace of mind.
Here’s my list of the more common issues addressed in a postnuptial
- Marital goals: what plans do you have for your marriage? Having children?
Who will be the bread winner? How will expenses be handled?
- Children: Are you going to have any? How many? How will they be raised?
What religion? What are your education goals for them? What is your parenting style
- Property: Will property be in both names? Who will reside there in the
event of a divorce?
- Inheritance: Will each spouse keep their own? Will they share?
- Earnings: Where will earnings be deposited? Will there be joint or separate
accounts? Who will pay the bill? How will you pay the bills?
- Debts: Who will manage the credit cards? Will they be joint?
- Property: What will be marital property or separate property?
- Roles in a marriage: Who will manage the home? Who is going to work?
- Wills and estate planning: Have provisions been made in the event of death?
As a divorce attorney, I know that it is much easier to have the “tough
talk” during a marriage than in a courtroom.
A postnuptial agreement gives your marriage a chance to address everything
that is important to both of you. It also helps define a relationship of trust.
Once the postnuptial agreement is completed you can move forward with a
framework that makes you both feel secure and empowered.
If for some reason your marriage does eventually dissolve, you have created
a plan that can now be transitioned into a separation agreement. This
can save you time, money, and emotional pain once a divorce is launched.
If you are considering a postnuptial agreement and would like to learn
more, call me. I will be happy to help you decide if a postnuptial agreement
is right for you!
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I look forward to speaking with you.
Continue to Stay Healthy & Stay Safe!
Lois Brenner is referred to as the “Lawyer's Lawyer” and
is recognized for handling sophisticated and complex cases discretely
and creatively, including those involving high net worth individuals,
business owners and executives, lawyers, doctors, celebrities, and public figures.
Call New York Divorce Lawyer, Lois Brenner now to book your free consultation.