Why You Need Susan Gibson as Your Postnuptial Agreement Lawyer
Guarding your best interests with solid legal advice
Although no one wants to think about divorce, it's possible.
Here's how Susan Gibson helps your case:
She'll Gather All Necessary Information
Your postnuptial agreement should address all agreements about what is marital property, marital debt, and separate property or separate debt. If you leave anything out, you may be at the mercy of a divorce court later to determine who gets what.
A postnuptial agreement attorney ensures all needed paperwork has been obtained.
She'll Protect Your Past & Future Interests
Whether you have children from a previous marriage you want to protect or a business to think about, you must consider all your needs when negotiating a postnuptial agreement.
The postnuptial law firm of Gibson Family Law, PLLC makes sure everything is considered.
She'll Ensure Your Rights are Respected
A postnup is a legally binding contract between two spouses. As long as no fraud or coercion occurs, it should be upheld in court. If there were issues in the drafting of the agreement, your lawyer could adequately challenge it.
Susan Gibson evaluates your case carefully. Each situation is unique.
Understanding Postnuptial Agreements in Pennsylvania
Humanizing the law to benefit your needs.
Postnuptial agreements are legal in Pennsylvania, as long as they are entered into without the presence of fraud or coercion.
What Is a Postnuptial Agreement?
Postnuptial agreements are the same as prenuptial agreements, except postnuptial agreements are signed after the parties are legally married. Both types of agreements outline intended property ownership and division in the event either or both spouses seek to divorce later. They also address issues of inheritances between spouses.
Technically, marital settlement agreements are also postnuptial agreements; however, they are negotiated when a divorce is pending to resolve financial claims raised by either spouse. The term postnuptial agreement is used when the parties are remaining married and marital settlement agreement or property settlement agreement is used when a divorce is pending.
What Issues Are Addressed in Postnups?
A postnuptial agreement addresses many issues that a court would typically handle in a divorce, including the following:
- Division of real estate
- Spousal support and alimony
- Distribution of marital property
- Premarital and separate property
- Other personal property
- Child support
Benefits of a Postnuptial Agreement
A postnuptial agreement is beneficial for both spouses because it allows them to determine the division of property, debts, and more in the event of a later divorce. This ensures the wants and needs of both spouses are fully considered.
Spouses often make a postnuptial agreement to avoid a messy separation or divorce that's dragged through the court. It also reduces the time it takes to go through the divorce process, specifically when it deals with the equitable distribution of property.
What's Included in a Postnuptial Agreement?
Ensuring you consider everything when it matters most
A postnup includes any issues that would be decided in a divorce or legal separation agreement.
Your postnuptial agreement should include details about who gets to keep real estate, including the marital residence. This might also include vacation homes, timeshares, and other real estate acquired during the marriage.
It should also mention separate property obtained before marriage, especially if that real estate has increased value. The increase in value may be considered marital property, which a court would divide equitably in a divorce.
You should include all marital and separate personal property in your postnuptial agreement. Anything meaningful to you should be named and described. You do not have to name every article of clothing, but you should detail things like family heirlooms and valuable items.
If the court determines your spousal support or alimony, you may not like the outcome. Establishing a specific percentage or amount in a postnuptial agreement is best. This allows for more privacy during a divorce and speeds up the process.
Child Custody & Support
A postnuptial agreement does not typically include provisions related to child support and child custody. Those matters are usually decided after the parties have separated. Ultimately, custody, visitation, and support will be determined by both party's agreement or the court.
Integrating an Estate Plan
Estate plans determine what happens if you or your spouse becomes incapacitated or dies. Your postnuptial agreement should be incorporated into your estate plan in a way that children from a previous marriage, future spouses, and other issues are considered.
Process of Creating a Postnuptial Agreement in Pennsylvania
Standing by your side throughout the entire legal process
When married couples create postnuptial agreements, it is often because the financial circumstances of one or both spouses changed drastically after the marriage, and they want to protect that change in the event of later divorce. Despite any tension that may exist between spouses negotiating a postnup, postnup agreement lawyers help you develop a solid contract.
Hire Experienced Postnuptial Agreement Attorneys
Each spouse should work with different attorneys. You cannot hire the same lawyer to represent both of you in developing the postnuptial agreement. Even if you are both in agreement about most issues, you'll want someone by your side who's looking out for your best interests.
Negotiate Any Disagreements
If you and your spouse disagree on any issues addressed in the postnup, your family law attorneys can negotiate the details. You might start out on different sides of a subject, but you can reach middle ground when working with a skilled negotiator.
Develop a Contract and Store it Safely
Your attorney can draft a contract including all the issues you have agreed on with your spouse and ensure it's properly signed and witnessed. It's best to have legal documents like a postnuptial agreement notarized to prove they were entered into willingly and knowingly. Then, you should keep a copy in a safe location and have your attorney keep one on file as well.
Postnuptial Agreement FAQs
If you decide that a postnuptial agreement is suitable for you, there are some questions you might have. We provide answers to those questions.
Is a Postnuptial Agreement Legally Binding?
Yes. A postnuptial agreement is a legal contract. However, there may be specific issues that a court would re-evaluate, such as child custody and child support.
Can You Write Your Own Postnuptial Agreement?
Although it is possible to write your own postnuptial agreement, it is not a good idea. You will likely miss critical issues and fail to include everything necessary. Additionally, you may try to appease your spouse by agreeing to things not in your best interests. Always work with an independent legal professional with years of experience handling prenup agreements.
What Cannot Be Included in a Postnuptial Agreement?
A postnuptial agreement cannot deal with issues like child custody. Only a court can decide issues like child custody and visitation to ensure the child's best interests are considered.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Postnuptial Agreement?
A postnuptial agreement can be developed at any time after marriage. Once you meet with your attorney and they contact your spouse's lawyer, an agreement can be drafted quickly.
How Much Does a Postnuptial Agreement Cost?
The main cost of a postnuptial agreement lies in legal fees. If you and your spouse agree on all issues, your postnup will not be very expensive. However, if your attorney negotiates many issues, you may have more legal fees.
Provide full disclosure to your attorney about how much conflict you expect, and your lawyer can probably give you a general idea of how much your postnup will cost.
Let Gibson Family Law, PLLC Help You with a Postnuptial Agreement
Whether you have concerns about your marriage or want to take extra precautions and develop a postnuptial agreement, an attorney helps you achieve your goals. Susan Gibson has almost 15 years of experience helping clients just like you.