Prenuptial, Postnuptial & Cohabitation Agreements
We negotiate and draft nuptial agreements of all kinds to ensure your current and future assets are protected—including family wealth, inherited wealth and trusts or family partnerships—in the event of any conflict or dispute.
Future spouses often use these agreements to start their marriages with an open financial discussion, and to avoid misunderstandings between them if their marriage dissolves. Our approach is to protect your interests first when negotiating these agreements, but we understand the sensitive nature of having your future partner on the other side. We will always take those dynamics into account when working with you.
We represent clients in the negotiation and preparation of postnuptial agreements when circumstances arise during the marriage and a formal agreement becomes necessary. These agreements can sometimes help marriages or partnerships that are in distress and promote reconciliation. Circumstances that might warrant a postnuptial agreement include:
- A change in the financial circumstances of one of the spouses
- Drafting an agreement as part of an overall estate plan
- Needing or wanting certainty if there is a divorce
- A trigger by a relationship-based stressor
Our firm is also often asked to negotiate and draft cohabitation and living together agreements between parties, should a couple choose to live together without being married, with or without children of the relationship. These agreements often involve tax considerations that we deal with frequent and, if need be, retain experts to assist.
We are also called upon to litigate the validity and enforceability of prenuptial, postnuptial and cohabitation agreements as needed.
We understand the interplay between prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and client estate planning objectives, as well as the added fiduciary obligations when drafting a postnuptial agreement. Because of this, we work closely with trust and estate attorneys to ensure your planning is consistent and effective.
I just received my final bill for the prenuptial agreement for my daughter, and I wanted you to know the following: 1) Your firm’s billing was entirely reasonable and easily understandable. Extraordinarily fair rates considering the high level of talent. 2) You were an extreme pleasure to work with and I would not hesitate for a moment to recommend your services. You really “knew your stuff.” 3) Your relationship with opposing counsel was extremely helpful in getting this done in record time and for a very fair price.
We regularly prepare prenuptial and postnuptial agreements for high-profile and high-net worth clients and their spouses in all industries—including real estate, finance, professional partnerships and media and technology. We also have experience working with high-net worth families, including children and grandchildren, in cases of multi-generational wealth.
Because of our experience in this area, we are often asked to handle or assist with prenuptial and postnuptial agreements for individuals from other states or countries. We also prepare agreements for clients who maintain multiple residences, not only in New York, but all over the world. When necessary, we have New York agreements reviewed by counsel outside our jurisdiction. We have even lectured about this topic in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong.
We have a record of success in handling matters in this area, including:
- Challenging a prenuptial agreement on behalf of a wife before New York’s highest court, resulting in the seminal decision that now governs the proper execution of all prenuptial, postnuptial and marital settlement agreements
- Negotiating and drafting prenuptial agreements for the children and grandchildren of some of the wealthiest families in the world
- Tailoring prenuptial agreements to address unique needs of our high-profile clients, including negotiating confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions
- Working with trust and estate counsel to prepare prenuptial agreements for family members who are getting married and have a significant portion of their wealth in a family estate plan
- Negotiating and drafting prenuptial agreements on behalf of clients with residences and business interests in multiple jurisdictions
- Working with family law attorneys in foreign jurisdictions on the execution of out-of-state prenuptial agreements to ensure that they will be enforced in New York
- Negotiating agreements related to intellectual property, the disposition of genetic material and gift tax and exclusionary rights
- Representing wealthy and high-profile individuals who want to ensure their cohabitation relationship does not create unintended financial, residential or other rights
- Defending multiple wealthy individuals against relationship-based claims including palimony, constructive trust and extortion claims