Marriage is a significant event for any couple, and for same-sex couples, it can be a hard-won victory. Marriage is not just about love. It involves practical considerations that require careful planning, including finances, property, support, and children. Whether you are considering tying the knot, already married, or exploring the possibility of dissolving your marriage, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can help you safeguard your legal rights and interests.
Prenuptial agreements (prenups) are financial agreements signed before the marriage takes place. Postnuptial agreements (postnups) are signed after the marriage takes place. Both agreements set out the terms of the distribution of assets and property, spousal support, and other important matters in the event of a divorce or separation. If you are a same-sex couple in New York City, you need to hire an experienced matrimonial lawyer to create these important documents.
Why Obtain Pre/Postnuptial Agreements
There are several reasons why same-sex couples should consider getting pre/postnuptial agreements in NYC. First, pre/postnuptial agreements provide financial and emotional security to both parties. In a marriage, both partners are legally bound to support each other, even in the event of divorce or separation. A pre/postnuptial agreement clarifies the financial obligations of the parties and sets out the terms of support, property, and asset division, making it easier to reach a fair and equitable settlement.
Second, pre/postnuptial agreements can help avoid costly and contentious litigation in the event of divorce or separation. Divorce proceedings can be emotionally and financially draining, especially when the couple has significant assets and property. If the pre/postnuptial agreement is clear and specific, it can serve as a roadmap for resolving disputes, minimizing conflicts, and ensuring a smooth divorce process.
What’s Covered in Pre/Postnuptial Agreements
The terms of the pre/postnuptial agreement will vary depending on the individual needs and circumstances of the couple. However, some common provisions in same-sex pre/postnuptial agreements in NYC may include:
- Division of property acquired before and during marriage
- Spousal support/maintenance
- Allocation of debt
- Inheritance rights
- Disposition of pets
- Health care decisions
- Education and religion of children
- Business interests
- Retirement benefits and pensions
The Legal Requirements for Pre/Postnuptial Agreements
To be legally binding, pre/postnuptial agreements must meet certain requirements under New York law. First, the agreement must be signed voluntarily, without any duress, coercion, or undue influence. Second, the agreement must be fair and reasonable at the time of signing, and it should not be unconscionable at the time of enforcement. Third, the agreement must be in writing, signed in the presence of a notary public, and acknowledged by both parties.
The Legal Process of Creating Pre/Postnuptial Agreements
Creating a pre/postnuptial agreement in NYC is a multi-step process that requires the expertise of a family law attorney. The process includes the following steps:
- Consultation: Discuss your needs and goals with your lawyer, and provide them with the relevant financial information and documentation.
- Negotiation: Work with your lawyer and your partner to negotiate the terms of the agreement. Be prepared to compromise and prioritize what matters most to you.
- Drafting: Once the terms are agreed upon, your lawyer will draft the pre/postnuptial agreement and send it to the other party for review.
- Revisions: If necessary, revise the agreement until both parties approve it.
- Signing: Both parties will sign the agreement in the presence of a notary public.
- Filing: File the agreement with the appropriate county clerk’s office.
Pre/postnuptial agreements are essential for same-sex couples in NYC who want to protect their legal rights and interests in the event of a divorce or separation. While no one plans for divorce, it is wise to plan for the unexpected. Creating a pre/postnuptial agreement requires the expertise of a matrimonial lawyer who understands the unique challenges facing same-sex couples. If you are looking to create a pre/postnuptial agreement, contact The Mandel Law Firm today to schedule a consultation by calling (646) 770 3868. We are here to help you achieve peace of mind and a secure future.