Marriage is a legal contract granting special rights and responsibilities to a couple. Any change requires an agreement modifying your rights. Usually, these modifications take the form of prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. These contracts will alter the way the law requires you to divide your property in the case of a divorce. When searching for a postnuptial agreement lawyer, choose Morgenstern & Associates.
The Similarities And Differences Between A Prenuptial And Postnuptial Agreement
Both are types of contracts executed to determine the distribution of property in the event of a divorce. Actually, the only difference between them is the timing of the execution. Engaged couples execute a prenuptial agreement before they marry. Whereas a married couple signs a postnuptial after the wedding.
Many reasons arise as to why a couple waits until after their vows to execute an agreement:
- Arguments about finances
- A significant change in assets/liabilities
- Start of a new business
Likewise, many people enter into postnuptial agreements other than looking towards divorce. Often, they look took toward a reconciliation. In these instances, there may be some form of marital misconduct and the parties want to stay together, but the aggrieved party wants to be “compensated” for the misconduct.
Of course, in forging your agreement, you want to create a legally binding document that the court will uphold. Thus, when drafting your agreement, it must be according to the following conditions:
- In writing
- Clearly state the rights and obligations
- Does not conflict with public policy
- Signed by both parties
Notably, premarital agreements do not have to be notarized. It is advisable, but the statute doesn’t require it.
5 Important Things To Include In A Postnuptial Agreement
Generally, your document should address property division and include all your possessions and liabilities:
1. Your Personal Assets/Debts
In the event the marriage ends, a postnuptial agreement can spell out the division of your property. This includes all types of assets including retirement accounts, business holdings, jewelry, and even frequent flyer miles. In addition, if one spouse has shown to be irresponsible, you can also limit your debt liability.
2. A Large Inheritance
Sometimes, after a marriage, you may receive a large inheritance. If you doubt the stability of your union, you may want to keep your newly acquired property from your spouse. Keep in mind, it is not necessary to enter into a postnuptial agreement if one spouse receives an inheritance as long as that is kept separate and not commingled with marital assets.
3. Assets Intended For Children From A Previous Relationship
Today, many families consist of blended families. Thus, you may enter into a marriage with children from a previous relationship. Executing a postnuptial agreement can contain provisions ensuring these children receive the inheritance you desire.
4. Any Family Heirlooms
Often, families have heirlooms, those treasured items owned by a relative. Sometimes, family members may have passed down items through generations, making particular heirlooms centuries old. We love them because they remind us of the special person who gave them to us. Including these items in your postnuptial agreement keep the heirlooms in the family.
5. Business Assets/Liabilities
Since the pandemic, Americans launching their own businesses have increased by about 55%.
Unfortunately, many of these entrepreneurs don’t consider the consequences should they divorce. Often, a spouse can lay claim to the business assets including patents, royalties, or intellectual property. Executing a postnuptial agreement can help keep your business intact should you and your spouse decide to divorce.
FAQs About Finding A Postnuptial Agreement Lawyer
Complex marital laws can be challenging to understand. A postnuptial agreement lawyer can help you navigate complicated statutes to ensure your agreement is valid and protects your rights. Below, we’ve answered a few questions our clients commonly ask.
With Forms Online, Can’t I DIY An Agreement?
Usually, online forms make it seem simple to execute a postnuptial agreement. Answer a few simple questions and the site will generate an agreement meeting your specifications.
However, these online platforms aren’t lawyers and cannot give you any legal advice. Moreover, these legal websites make their forms standardized to conform to a majority of users’ needs. By using online legal forms, you may not receive the legal protection you need.
Can I Specify Spousal Or Child Support In A Postnuptial Agreement?
Sometimes, clients think they can use a postnuptial agreement to restrict alimony or child support. Neither custody, child support or alimony can be addressed in a postnuptial agreement unless the parties are separated at the time they execute the agreement.
Should I Use A Postnuptial Agreement Specialist?
When you’re searching for a lawyer, you can choose between a general practitioner or a specialist. A general practitioner handles a wide range of legal matters. While most are very competent, these attorneys lack the in-depth knowledge of a specialist.
Notably, a board-certified specialist has an advanced level of knowledge and expertise in a particular field of law. With their extensive understanding of family law, these attorneys give you the best chance at a favorable outcome. Moreover, when drafting a postnuptial agreement, you’ll receive the best legal advice to protect your rights.
Where Can I Find A Great Postnuptial Agreement Lawyer?
If you live in the Greensboro area, you can hire the highly-qualified law firm of Morgenstern & Associates. Our attorneys have over 40 years of combined experience and are board-certified specialists. Plus, we’ve received considerable recognition from many professional and legal organizations. These include Best Lawyers, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication company in the legal profession.
Yet, our legal team is also compassionate and understanding, helping you to navigate complex laws affecting your family. If you’re thinking about crafting a postnuptial agreement, it’s time to give us a call at 336-203-9110.