There are those who argue that getting a prenuptial agreement is a sign of mistrust. However, the high rate of heated and contested divorces necessitates a prenuptial agreement. According to Forbes, a contested divorce can cost you anywhere between $3,500 and $100,000. These costs include filing fees, therapy, real estate costs and lawyer fees. If you are contemplating getting a prenuptial agreement, consult with a Brooklyn prenuptial agreement lawyer. It is also crucial to be well informed so that you can make a wise decision.
What is a prenuptial agreement?
A prenup is a binding contract entered into by two people intending to get married. The contract details property division, rights and the responsibilities of each of the spouse. The prenup takes effect once the couple gets married. The agreement must be done in writing and before a notary public. A verbal agreement cannot hold. The contract must also be signed and finalized before the two are wedded.
When should you consider a prenup?
Contrary to common belief, prenups are not only for the upper class and wealthy. There are various reasons why people from all financial statuses can get a prenup.
• If one has significantly more assets or debt than the other party.
• If one has family property or assets that they wish to protect and keep separate.
• To avoid the court hassle or court involvement in determining how assets will be divided.
• To protect intellectual property rights.
• To protect one’s assets against changing matrimonial laws.
• To reduce conflict and a lengthy divorce process.
How can a prenup lawyer help?
Getting a prenup is a personal decision, and this is why you need to get your own legal counsel. The agreement has huge financial and legal implications. There are several issues that necessitate the expertise of a prenup agreement lawyer. For starters, the prenup has to follow the statutes enacted in your state. In some states, you may be required to have a non-exclusive list. This means separate legal counsel for each party. There is also the requirement that all property is fully disclosed before the signing of the prenup. If you wish to move states when you get married, the lawyer will ensure that the agreement still holds.
The prenup also needs to factor in the state laws governing income, treatment of inheritances, gifts and accrued pension rights. If any assets were acquired during cohabitation or a previous marriage, then this must be properly addressed. Property jointly owned or communally acquired must also be factored. These are pertinent issues that can create complications in future. This is why you need a lawyer who understands the specific laws in your state.
While a prenup is designed to serve until the marriage ends by death or divorce, there are instances when amendments or a revocation is necessary. For instances, the health of one of the spouses may change. You can also adopt children in the course of the marriage. A business venture or an inheritance can also necessitate amendments to the agreement. It is important to know how you would go about this in light of future changes. Any assumptions made in the agreement should also be discussed. The agreement should give a provision for externalities and eventualities.
A lawyer can also help you understand tax implications and issues of estate planning. If you have income producing assets, then you need to consult with an expert before you sign the prenup. It is crucial that you consult with a lawyer in good time. Do not wait till you have a few days to wed. All the elements need to be discussed before marriage, and a prenup or family lawyer’s expertise can be helpful in avoiding complications in future.