Marital Agreements

Marital agreements are designed to address a wide range of legal issues that may arise in the context of matrimonial and family law. Whether a couple is considering marriage, already married , or intending to divorce, it is critical to have an agreement that will clarify each parties property rights.

The law office of Gassman Baiamonte Gruner, P.C. has expertise in negotiating and preparing marital agreements including pre-marital agreements, post-marital agreements and separation agreements. Well designed marital agreements allow the parties to avoid the time and money involved in lengthy divorce litigation.  Any individual, regardless of their financial standing, would be well served to invest in the preparation of an agreement, either before or soon after a wedding.

What is a pre-marital agreement?

A pre-marital (or pre-nuptial) agreement is entered into before the marriage and specifies each future spouses property ownership and the property rights of each party if they decide to divorce. The benefits of a prenuptial agreement include:

  • Provides financial clarity
  • Reduces conflicts in a divorce
  • Avoids division of property by the court

A well designed premarital agreement will also clarify management of joint bank accounts, household bills, and credit card payments, determine the amount of income that will be set aside for savings, and also specify how disputes will be resolved. In order for the agreement to be approved by the court, it must be fair and both parties must enter into it free of coercion.

What is a post-marital agreement?

A post-marital (or post-nuptial) agreement is entered into after a couple marries and details how the marital property will be divided in the event of a separation or divorce. Each spouse must disclose both separate and marital property in addition to property acquired before the marriage whether through inheritance, a gift of from a legal settlement. A well thought-out post-marital agreement will:

  • Clarify the rights and responsibilities of each partner during the marriage
  • Determine how the assets will be divided in the event of divorce or death of one or both spouses

A marriage is not only a personal commitment, it is also a business relationship. A couple that is intending to marry or has already married needs the expertise of a matrimonial attorney to plan and prepare either of these agreements in order to protect their financial interests.

What is a separation agreement?

A separation agreement is necessary for spouses who have decided to live apart and intend to end the marriage. The agreement also clarifies how bills are to be paid, whether child support will be paid, who minor children will live with, and what the visitation arrangements will be.

Separation agreements are usually the first step in a divorce proceeding and are essential in complex divorce cases that involve real estate, investments, bank accounts, debts and other marital assets. A couple becomes legally separated after the agreement is signed and notarized by both parties. In some cases, the court may include some or all of the separation agreement in its divorce judgment.

The matrimonial attorneys at Gassman Baiamonte Gruner, P.C. work with couples to develop fair and reasonable arrangements that clarify each parties ownership of property in the event of a divorce.

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