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Wish You Had Gotten a PreNup? You Can Have a Post-Nuptial Agreement

Post Nuptial AgreementMost Long Islanders have heard about Prenuptial Agreements, if only in the cases of very wealthy people or movie stars, but did you know there’s something called a Post Nuptial Agreement? As a Family Law Attorney on Long Island, I see it much less frequently than the pre-nup, but it’s not unheard of, and they can be much trickier legally, so it’s in your best interest to seek the counsel of an experienced lawyer to assist you with yours.

What is a Post Nuptial Agreement?

Prenuptial agreements are an attempt, before marriage, to fix or arrange consequences of marriage and/or its dissolution. Post-nuptial agreements are created after the marriage has occurred, and serve the same purpose as prenuptial agreements.  In New York, the courts have held that post-nuptial agreements are enforceable, but some courts will scrutinize post-nuptial agreements more carefully than prenuptial agreements.

Get It in Writing

In order to be valid and enforceable, Post-Nuptial agreements must be in writing with clear and unambiguous terms. New York courts typically will not uphold an oral Post-Nuptial agreement. The agreement must meet the requirements set forth by the Statute of Frauds, meaning that the intent of the parties must be in writing and signed by both parties.

What Makes a Post Nuptial Agreement Legally Binding?

The agreement must also ensure that there is no indication of fraud, duress, coercion and is not unconscionable.

The courts also look to whether there has been a disclosure of all the assets and whether each party had independent counsel. If there was no independent counsel, the courts look to written informed consent from one spouse waving independent counsel. Finally, the agreement must properly be signed and acknowledged by both parties to be enforceable and valid.

See Experienced Counsel

If you’re considering a Post Nuptial Agreement, be sure to seek the advice of an experienced attorney. As stated earlier, New York State Courts take a very hard look at Post Nuptial Agreements and one small error could make your agreement unenforceable. The Law Offices of Robert E. Hornberger, P.C. are familiar with the laws regarding Post-Nuptial Agreements and will be happy to advise you. Contact us at 631-923-1910 for a free consultation.