Postnuptial agreements may help provide some stability in a marriage—happy or otherwise. It helps to establish what should happen to various assets in the event of a divorce by defining separate property between you and your spouse. It may also help manage wealth, business ties and questions regarding children outside the current marriage.
However, according to the New York City Bar, there are a few ways where these agreements may not hold up in court.
At the signing
When drafting this agreement, it is important to disclose any and all assets as honestly as possible. If you or your spouse do not, it may unfairly imbalance the agreement and, in the worst case, constitute fraud in the eyes of the court.
A postnuptial agreement relies on both parties entering into the agreement consensually. If there is proof of any coercion, deception or duress leading up to the signing, the courts may not enforce it.
In the court’s eyes
Without a postnuptial agreement, New York courts aim to divide assets through an equitable distribution. The postnuptial affects this, but only to a certain degree. Should the courts find that your postnuptial agreement unfairly favors you or your spouse, it may not hold up.
After things do not work out
A postnuptial agreement may help put your mind at ease or it may represent an unfair obstacle in front of you during your divorce. Regardless of how a postnuptial agreement helps or hinders you during the divorce process, it is important to lean on your legal resources to establish the proper facts and reach the fairest outcome.