People very often do not draft prenuptial agreements before getting married. Oftentimes, this is no big deal, because both spouses are happy together and are content with their financial situation until the very end. However, when a couple gets divorced and they do not have a prenuptial agreement in place, they very often fall into the litigation process, which can be a nightmare. However, fortunately, if you and your spouse did not draft a prenuptial agreement, it is not too late–you can still draft a postnuptial agreement. Essentially, a postnuptial agreement functions the same as a prenuptial agreement, only it is drafted after you and your spouse are legally married. There is a stigma very often associated with postnuptial agreements, so it is important you are open and honest with your spouse regarding your reasoning from the onset. If you and your spouse both agree that drafting a postnuptial agreement is best, here are some of the questions you may have going forward:

What issues may I address in my postnuptial agreement?

There are several reasons you and your spouse may wish to draft a postnuptial agreement. Whether it be a significant change in circumstances, or simply a mutual agreement that your finances and assets should be legally protected, postnuptial agreements may address various issues. Some of the main reasons couples will draft a postnuptial agreement are as follows:

  • One party’s financial circumstances have significantly changed. One party may have recently received a large inheritance, a job promotion, or the acquisition of stocks or investment options
  • Financial insecurity is hurting your marriage
  • Either you or your spouse is seeking financial support for children from a previous marriage
  • You wish to avoid the stress of the equitable distribution process

What are the qualifications for a valid postnuptial agreement?

The five primary qualifications for a valid postnuptial agreement are as follows:

  • The financial status of each party and any of the assets discussed in the agreement must be fully and accurately disclosed
  • There must be no evidence of manipulation, deceit, or emotional pressure by either party
  • The terms must be “fair and reasonable” to both parties
  • Each party must retain separate legal counsel, or else explicitly waive their right to counsel in writing
  • Both parties must have a reasonable amount of time to reach an informed decision regarding whether or not they should sign the agreement

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

If you are considering drafting a postnuptial agreement, please do not hesitate to contact one of our knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys. We are happy to assist you throughout the postnuptial agreement process.

The Law Office of Toby Grabelle, LLC is a family and divorce law firm serving Monmouth County and all of New Jersey that would be happy to assist you in legal counsel. If you need quality legal services, contact the firm for a consultation.