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Postnuptial Agreements

Postnuptial Agreements​

Helping you establish financial rights in your marriage

There are many reasons why couples may wish to clarify financial expectations within their marriage. However, if not done correctly, a postnuptial agreement may be invalidated—and become a source of confusion and frustration.

At Jacobs Berger, our family law attorneys have experience helping couples define financial rights and responsibilities in their marriage through postnuptial agreements.

We have a detailed understanding of how to create a supportable postnuptial agreement—and we use that insight to help you and your spouse form a marital agreement that meets your specific needs.

If you’re interested in creating, enforcing, or challenging a postnuptial agreement, contact us. Our knowledgeable family law firm can guide you through the process.

What Is a Postnuptial Agreement?

A postnuptial agreement is a contract signed by a couple after marriage—rather than before— that defines certain assets as separate property, as opposed to marital property and may define other rights and responsibilities of the parties.

Marital agreements help get rid of worry, eliminate any confusion down the road and put both partners on the same page about their shared future.

The marital agreement attorneys at our family law firm have extensive experience helping couples navigate and create postnuptial agreements. We offer candid counsel and can guide you through the process of drafting or challenging a postnuptial agreement.

Why a postnuptial agreement can be helpful

Although every couple’s situation is different, there are a few reasons that our clients regularly emphasize as reasons to create a postnuptial agreement.

Those compelling reasons are:

  • The couple didn’t define their financial rights and responsibilities in a prenuptial agreement and now wish to do so
  • The couple wishes to address a significant change in the financial circumstances of one party, such as receiving a large inheritance or a significant promotion or raise, acquiring stocks, or selling a business or investment holdings 
  • The couple wishes to make their own plan for equitable distribution in the event of a divorce, rather than having it decided for them by the courts
  • One or both parties wishes to secure financial support for children from a previous marriage or to segregate assets brought into their marriage from a prior relationship

At our family law office, our experienced attorneys can work with you and your spouse to create a postnuptial agreement that reflects your shared financial situation and goals.

Creating a Supportable Postnuptial Agreement

Unlike prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements have additional legal requirements and burdens to meet when challenged.

It’s essential to keep in mind that while courts usually consider prenuptial agreements to be financial arrangements between two separate individuals, those same courts will be much stricter when considering the validity of a postnuptial agreement. Postnuptial agreements are challenged, and defeated, very often because of the burdens necessary in crafting them and making them supportable.

One of the most critical aspects to ensuring the validity of a postnuptial agreement is that there exists no doubt regarding each person’s clear decision to enter into the agreement. It’s vital that neither person feels pressured, compelled, or coerced into signing.

Additionally, the requirements for a legally valid postnuptial agreement are:

  • Each person has to have separate legal representation or explicitly waive their right to it
  • Each person must fully and accurately disclose all financial information
  • The agreement must be fair and reasonable to both people. If the agreement particularly disadvantages one person, it likely won’t be enforceable
  • There must be no question that either person was manipulated, coerced, compelled, or tricked into signing
  • Both people have to have time to consider the agreement and be able to reach an informed decision as to whether or not they want to sign

If all of the necessary points are satisfied, a couple can create prudent financial plans for various scenarios and situations with a postnuptial agreement. It can also save a great deal of expense and time in the event of a divorce or the death of one partner.

At our family law firm, we can help you create a legally supportable, highly individualized marital agreement that provides long-term benefits for both parties.

Contesting a postnuptial agreement

If you signed a postnuptial agreement but felt pressured into doing so, it may be possible to contest its validity. While it can sometimes be challenging to prove, the courts are wary of postnuptial agreements where one party felt forced into signing.

Likewise, the courts won’t support a postnuptial agreement that is grossly unfair to one party.

If you believe you were pressured into signing an agreement and the agreement is unfair to you, the marital agreement lawyers at our family law firm can work with you to find the best way to present your argument to the Court. We can help you understand whether or not the agreement is legally valid.

Postnuptial agreements and financial disclosure

Full and accurate financial disclosure is an important component in creating a legally valid postnuptial agreement.

If an asset mentioned in the postnuptial agreement was inaccurately valued, then the entire agreement can be shown to be invalid.

For this reason, it’s critical to collaborate with your attorney and share all the financial documents they request during the creation of your marital agreement.

Another critical step is to consult with professionals who specialize in valuing certain types of assets, such as:

  • Real estate evaluators
  • Business evaluators
  • Investment evaluators
  • Other types of financial experts

By taking these steps, we can help ensure the accurate valuation of assets mentioned in the postnuptial agreement and thus help ensure its validity.

Work with Our Postnuptial Agreement Lawyers

At Jacobs Berger, our family law attorneys have many years of experience in working with couples to create fair and legally valid postnuptial agreements.
We take pride in helping couples draft agreements that reflect their individual rights, needs, and situation. The attorneys at our family law firm can help you find solutions that build a healthy foundation for your financial and marital future.
If you’d like to create, contest, enforce, or modify a postnuptial agreement, contact us today for a strategic planning session.