Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
A prenuptial agreement (“prenup”) is a written contract created before marriage. A prenup lists all of your assets and debts and specifies what each of your rights will be after the marriage. There are many reasons to enter into a prenup, including, passing on separate property to children from a prior marriage, clarifying financial rights and responsibilities during the marriage, getting protection from separate debts, or avoiding potential conflict in the event of divorce.
A postnuptial agreement (“postnup”) is similar to a prenup, but entered into after the marriage. Like a prenup, a postnup requires disclosure of all marital and separate property and debts, and would set forth each of your rights and responsibilities during the marriage, including how each will divide property and debts in the event of divorce or death.
Both prenups and postnups offer clients the opportunity to engage in important conversations and avoid future disputes. Prenups and postnups may be beneficial to anyone who would like to avoid potential litigation. Understanding the sensitivity of conducting negotiations on the eve of a wedding, or during a marriage, we offer mediation and collaborative representation services for the preparation of prenup and postnup agreements.
Post-Divorce Modification Agreements
You may need to modify existing court orders or divorce settlement agreements if and when financial or parenting circumstances change. The most common reasons for seeking post-divorce modifications are related to the loss of a job, requests to change parenting time or child support, the need to relocate, or the changed living conditions of one of the parents.
Parenting agreements may be necessary if you and your partner have never been married but have children together. These agreements can encompass residential and legal custody, child support, parenting schedules, communication and any concerns you and your partner have regarding the child(ren).
If you are an unmarried couple living together, you will not have the legal protections offered to married couples if you separate. As such, you may wish to enter into a written agreement that defines property division and support in the event that your relationship breaks down. This is similar to a prenup agreement, and can legally define your expectations.
Stop the Clock Agreements
During the marriage, accumulated assets and debts are considered marital, and by law cut off only upon the filing and service of a summons for divorce. If you and your spouse are working towards an out-of-court settlement, you may chose to sever the financial partnership and stop the joint accumulation of assets and debts before the filing of your uncontested divorce papers. Towards this end, you may agree to a cutoff date, after which time acquired assets and debts would no longer be deemed marital.