Heymann & Fletcher

Postnuptial agreements can be helpful in divorce

Divorce can be a tumultuous process in New Jersey, especially when two people cannot see eye-to-eye on how best to split their assets. It is for this reason that postnuptial agreements are drawing more attention these days. A postnuptial agreement is a contract that two people sign after becoming married; the contract spells out their financial obligations and rights if they end up getting a divorce.

Postnuptial agreements are like prenuptial agreements except that prenuptial agreements are entered into before marriage, at a time when two people are not financially obligated to each other. The benefit of a postnuptial agreement is that, since it settles financial questions, it gives two married people freedom to deal with messier issues that may be undermining their marriage. For instance, in the event that one spouse suffers mental illness or engages in infidelity, the family does not have to focus on issues such as the division of assets, parental access and custody, or child support; instead, they can concentrate on repairing any damage done to the family as a result of the infidelity or mental illness.

In order for a postnuptial agreement to be able to be enforced, it must be entered into voluntarily. In addition, it cannot be totally unfair. It also has to be the result of accurate and full disclosure by both parties regarding their incomes, liabilities and assets.

Even if a couple in New Jersey never entered into a postnuptial agreement, they can still avoid litigation if they decide to get divorced. Divorce mediation allows couples to resolve matters such as asset distribution without involving the court. In such a situation, both parties have the right to seek a settlement that is fair and in their own best interests.

Source: wealthmanagement.com, "A Potential Alternative to Divorce", Lois Liberman, Aug. 10, 2015

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