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Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements

In every relationship there are unwritten contracts. If you reduce to writing your understandings, you will have fewer misunderstandings. There is no romance without finance. Saying what you mean and meaning what you say is the best prescription for a healthy marriage. Since each marriage is unique, it is unfair and unrealistic to use one set of cookie cutter rules for the creation, duration and termination of all marriages. Prenuptial agreements are no longer the exclusive concern of the multi-married or widowed. These contracts seek to determine prior to the wedding ceremony, each party’s rights and responsibilities in the event of divorce or death. It is written at a time when loving feelings are or should be flowing freely. They are both feeling protective of each other.

A prenuptial agreement is valid and enforceable contract so long as it complies with certain legal requirements. Prior to the enactment of the Equitable Distribution Law on July 19, 1980, a prenuptial agreement was restricted to matters affecting claims and the interest of one spouse in the estate of the other. Now, parties can incorporate provisions regarding equitable distribution rights, support and maintenance.on

When the majority of all businesses in the United States are family owned or family controlled, parents, grandparents and siblings are and should be concerned about protecting the company from the claim of a prospective in-law in the event a marriage is unsuccessful or if the blood member predeceases the in-law. The couple should consider what happens to the appreciation, income and profits of the business during the marriage. What if there are assets which are intrinsically involved in a business, such as a factory, but the asset is not owned by the business?

Families are more inclined to gift shares of a family business or to make a substantial gift to allow a couple to purchase a residence in their joint names, if they know that a proper prenuptial agreement is in place.

A prenuptial agreement need not cut off one’s rights, rather it clarifies them.

A postnuptial agreement is simply an agreement written after a couple have been married. It is also enforceable so long as it complies with certain legal requirements which are of a higher standard since the parties are already married to one another. 

It is essential that you understand what the specific terms of a prenuptial or a postnuptial agreement say because that is what you truly are saying “I do” to.