Arlene's practice covers several types of marital agreements: prenuptial, postnuptial, cohabitation, paternity/parenting and separation or property settlement agreements.
A prenuptial (also known as an ante-nuptial) agreement, or "prenup," is a private agreement between a prospective bride and groom that arranges their financial matters in advance in the event of future separation, divorce and death. The agreement substantially overrides the law that otherwise would apply. Increasingly, young couples are entering into prenuptial agreements to protect businesses, professional practices, careers, inheritances and credit. Older, more established couples traditionally use them to protect their nest eggs for themselves and their children from prior marriages. As a result of the high divorce rate, the changing divorce laws, the trend toward marrying later in life and greater longevity, more and more couples are recognizing the prudence of negotiating carefully tailored prenups that protect the expectations of both parties to an upcoming marriage.
"Postnups" are similar to prenups except that they are entered into during marriage. They are for couples who want to amend their prenups, who did not have a prenup when they married, but realize the need for one after marriage, or whose circumstances change after marriage. They are negotiated in contemplation of an ongoing marriage and often provide a means to strengthen the marital relationship by clarifying expectations.
"Cohabs" fulfill the functions of a prenup or postnup for heterosexual and same-sex couples who do not marry. Arguably, they are even more important than prenups, because the law generally provides few, if any rights, for cohabitants other than those embodied in a contract. The number of cohabitation agreements has grown along with the widespread prevalence of cohabitation among couples of all ages. The greater legal acceptance of same-sex marriages also has led to an increased demand for cohabs/prenups.
Paternity/parenting agreements acknowledge paternity/parenting and provide protection for both parents and children. These agreements are being used more frequently as DNA testing and out-of-wedlock parenting become more common.
Separation or Property Settlement Agreements
A negotiated separation agreement provides a cost-effective way to terminate a marriage. Our expertise in complex valuation, economic, retirement plan-related and tax issues, as well as our substantial experience in negotiating and drafting such documents, makes us uniquely equipped to structure the amicable dissolution of a marital partnership.
In our increasingly mobile world, more and more couples of different citizenship marry and move from one country to another. Moses & Singer has in-depth experience in handling "cross-border" marital agreements. We also maintain extensive international contacts, both through the MSI Global Alliance and otherwise, with lawyers around the globe who specialize in matrimonial law.
Collaborative Law Agreements
We also are qualified to represent clients in the collaborative law process, an increasingly popular way to resolve family disputes without litigation.
For more information on Marital Agreements, see "Prenups for Lovers: A Romantic Guide to Prenuptial Agreements," written by Arlene G. Dubin who can be reached at 212.554.7651 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.