Four Things That Might Jeopardize Your Prenuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement is a good planning document, but it is only valuable if it is valid.  In order to ensure that your Westchester County prenuptial agreement is valid, you will need to have it reviewed in full by a legal professional.  Here are the four most common reasons that a prenuptial agreement might be considered null and void.

Fraudulent Agreements

Each spouse is required to provide full disclosure of assets in a Westchester County prenuptial agreement.  If one spouse discovered that the other hid assets, the first spouse may be eligible to argue that the agreement should be thrown out.

Improper Paperwork Filing

The enforceability of a prenuptial agreement can come down to seemingly small details.  Careless or overlooked errors might mean that the agreement is less airtight than you expected.  If it was not drafted and filed properly, the agreement can be rendered invalid.

Signed Sans Legal Representation

Both parties signing a prenup should have their own legal counsel.  It is never a good idea to sign any legal documents without having an attorney review it.

The Agreement is Considered Unfair

If your Westchester County prenuptial agreement has ludicrous provisions inside or is determined to be too unfair, there may be a chance of invalidating it down the road.  This is especially true of agreements that include statements regarding claims that no child support will be paid or provisions about weight gain or hair color.

All of these mistakes can be avoided by going over the document carefully under the guidance of an experienced professional.  It can be surprising and confusing to have a prenuptial agreement thrown out, so do your due diligence.

What are the Difference Between a Post-Nuptial Agreement and a Separation Agreement?

These agreements in Rockland County might end up serving similar purposes, but they are different largely based on the time in which they are used.  To understand which one might work for you, learn about the differences between these three documents.

A post-nuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, the primary difference being that a post-nuptial agreement is made while the parties are still married.  The couple might still have a healthy relationship but be interested in getting some clarity on property that would remain separate.   Resolution of key issues in a binding document can help a healthy marriage continue to stay strong.   Sometimes a post-nuptial agreement is made to provide a guarantee that both spouses remain on the health care plan of one spouse if the marriage ends.

A separation agreement in Rockland County, however, is different.  These agreements should contain decisions related to all areas marriage dissolution such as child support, child custody, maintenance, and property division.  If these issues are agreed upon through a separation agreement, usually the divorce can be uncontested if and when the parties decide to file.  A couple will still need to file for divorce before the actual uncontested divorce package can be submitted to the local court, however.   Addressing these concerns in a separation agreement can help expedite the divorce process, if it comes to that.

While both documents have their differences, both can be helpful for addressing possible divorce issues ahead of time.  This gives both parties peace of mind about what to expect if the marriage does eventually dissolve.

Does Party Conduct Influence Equitable Division of Property in NY?

Since New York is an equitable distribution state, the assets of the parties will be divided up “equitably”.   This is done with the concept of considering what the parties contributed towards the marriage.  One of the most important aspects of determining equitable division in New York has to do with determining all of the property linked to the marriage first.  Since property division sets the tone for the future, more often than not parties to a divorce are curious about what will influence the final decision.

In general, misconduct that could be classified as “ordinary” does not influence how marital property is divided up in the courts.  In the event that one party attempts to hide assets to protect them from being divided, the court does have some leeway if this secrecy is uncovered.  The trial court may even decide that NY equitable division in these cases involves giving all of the concealed funds or assets to the other spouse.

If assets have been dissipated in other ways, the court has the authority to rule in a manner that is determined to “fairly compensate” for the dissipation.  This might include situations where a party has caused the other party to sustain a permanent disability or money that has been spent on gambling or drugs.

In short, you need to consult with someone who is experienced in the process of equitable division in NY to determine how property could be divided in your case.  While general misconduct does not influence property awards often, there are exceptions.

What if My Uncontested Divorce Becomes Contested?

Some couples planning to get a divorce in New City, NY intend to pursue an uncontested divorce.  It does happen sometimes, however, that planning to settle quickly does not work out.  There are many reasons why this can happen, but it can be a surprise to learn that the approach you thought you’d be able to take is no longer on the table.

Perhaps your former spouse spoke to friends and family and determined that a contested divorce was a better option.  If you were planning to move forward with terms of agreement you had already reached and your spouse announces a change in plans, you need to educate yourself as quickly as possible about your next steps.

During the process of a divorce, there are numerous issues that must be decided before you can move forward with your life.  These are related to property division, child custody and visitation, and alimony.   Even if you and your spouse thought these issues could be resolved simply, plans and perceptions may change.  The most important thing you can do to protect your interests whether you are involved in a contested or uncontested divorce is to retain legal counsel at the outset.

An experienced professional in your corner can advise you of the specific next steps to take if your divorce elevates from uncontested to contested.   You may need to reconsider your approach and prepare yourself for what the other spouse is likely to ask for.  You will want to brush up on the factors that judges consider in determining final divorce arrangements, too.   An alteration in plans for your divorce can be jarring, but you can help things by educating yourself and preparing for a contested divorce.