Many years ago, married women could not enter into contracts. The husband was the lord and master of the house and controlled all of the financial and business dealings. Those days are long gone. Today, a married woman can enter into contracts with anyone without her husband’s approval. Spouses can even enter into contracts with each other. Marriages today have some elements in common with a business partnership. Like a business partnership, it often helps to have a written agreement defining what may happen if the partnership ends. As circumstances change, the agreement can change and be updated. A postnuptial agreement can be an integral part of a couple’s estate plan.
Like a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement can head off disputes over money by forcing the spouses to think about and agree upon these matters before disputes arise. You may want to consider a postnuptial agreement when your relationship changes due to:
- Career change
- A liquidity event
Pre- and postnuptial agreements should also spell out what will happen if the marriage breaks up or there is a death of either spouse. Otherwise, the disposition of assets will be determined under state law as interpreted by a judge. Such dispositions may not be what you and your spouse anticipated.
Making an enforceable postnuptial agreement requires complete and truthful disclosure of all assets and liabilities by both spouses. A knowledgeable and experienced matrimonial and divorce attorney can guide you through the process of drafting a postnuptial agreement that works for you and your spouse.
Skillful, Experienced and Effective Matrimonial and Divorce Attorneys in Manhattan
If you want to head off financial problems as the circumstances of your marriage change, a post-nuptial agreement is a good place to start and the attorneys at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP can do just that.