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When Should You Consider a Postnuptial Agreement?

A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement in that it’s a contract for married parties to settle issues involving assets, debts, children and other circumstances of their marriage before a divorce or death. The big difference is that a postnuptial agreement is established after the marriage has already begun.

The following are a few situations in which a couple may choose to establish a postnuptial agreement:

  • New children: If you recently had children, this will change a lot of things about your life, including your financial situation, your plans for your assets and the various responsibilities you take on. Given the massive life changes children bring along with them, this tends to be a common time for postnuptial agreements.
  • New assets and debts: Any significant new assets or debts could prompt a postnuptial agreement. For example, starting up a business, taking on a new mortgage or rental property, receiving a significant windfall of cash or assets through inheritance or a major new promotion or job could all be reasons to consider a postnuptial agreement.
  • Significant illness: An illness that could lead to death could prompt both some changes and updates to estate plans, as well as a postnuptial agreement, to add some extra protections to assets and other issues.

For the postnuptial agreement to be valid, both parties must enter into it voluntarily. The agreement must abide by all relevant state laws and must be fair to both parties. Both parties should be aware the agreement could supersede some elements of their estate planning documents.  The agreement must be properly executed and must be notarize and acknowledged which is the way a deed is executed in New York.

To learn more about setting up a postnuptial agreement, speak with an experienced family law attorney at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia LLP.