Divorce is the last thing that someone about to marry wants to concern themselves with. People tend to think of prenuptial agreements in those terms. They tend to see them as a sign that the person who asks for one has little faith in the durability of the marriage. But establishing a plan for divorce is not the primary function of prenuptial agreements. The main aim of such contracts is to remove the discretionary power of judges over property. New York State gives judges wide latitude in deciding how marital assets are to be distributed in the event of divorce or the untimely death of the wealthier partner. A prenuptial agreement provides instruction for how assets and wealth are to be disposed of if either of the two were to occur.
If you possess substantial and extensive assets, asking your future spouse to sign a prenuptial agreement is really not about you. Your position more than likely involves you in a number of ongoing business concerns and enterprises. Your wealth is tied up in companies and commerce that underwrites the livelihoods of a great many people. It is important that these operations carry on intact no matter what. Their fate cannot hinge on the state of your love life or your mortality. A prenuptial agreement separates these interests from your marital estate, allowing them to carry on as they have been regardless of what may occur in your personal life.
However, you do not have to be a wealthy individual or be at the head of a business enterprise to find some use in a prenuptial agreement. Even if your assets are much more limited they are still worth protecting. If you own property and are marrying someone who doesn’t, it is not unreasonable for you to want to remain the sole proprietor of it. You see no reason to expect anything but a long, loving, and happy marriage. But you need not make assets that you have strived to accumulate part of the marital estate in order to show your confidence in your future spouse.
Another ordinary use of prenuptial agreements concerns the management of debt. If you and your intended are like most couples, you both are entering the marriage with debt. There tends to be no way around incurring debt in today’s society, so it is a perfectly normal thing for both of you to have. After you marry you will probably take on more debt. A prenuptial agreement will ensure that you are not compelled to service the debt incurred by your partner before the marriage should the latter ever be dissolved. This is a practical, common sense thing that many couples are willing to agree to.
One of the best and most valuable uses of pre-nups is to keep family heirlooms separate from the marital estate. If you have inherited diamonds, precious stones, jewelry, antique furniture, ancient artifacts and other items of sentimental as well as monetary value, you should get a prenuptial agreement that ensures that you remain the sole owner of those items no matter what happens in the marriage. You can also have the agreement stipulate that in the case of your untimely death the objects you inherit will go to your children or if you don’t have children to some other relative. The point is that a prenuptial agreement will guarantee that family heirlooms stay within the family.
Working with a lawyer specialized in drawing up prenuptial agreements is the best way to go. It will ensure that you get a prenuptial contract that is sound and solid and will act as the governing instruction in the event of divorce or your untimely departure.
If you are like most people who are preparing to get married soon, you may not be able to imagine life without your significant other. However, when you look at matters realistically, you may be aware that approximately half of all marriages result in divorce. Divorce is something that you may not anticipate, but you can prepare for the possibility of it. A prenuptial agreement is one of the more common steps that New York City couples take to protect their interests in the event of a future divorce. Even an amicable divorce can be stressful, and one of the major causes of stress in a divorce relates to finances. After all, the division of assets and debts in a divorce can cause emotions to run high. When you understand how a prenuptial agreement may protect you in the future, you may be ready to schedule a consultation with a New York City prenuptial lawyer.
What Is a Prenup?
Before you can determine if a prenuptial agreement is right for you, you need to understand more about what this type of agreement is. A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that both parties sign and agree to before the marriage. The terms of the agreement can be adjusted as desired by both parties, but they must comply with related laws. Generally, a prenuptial agreement determines the division of assets in the event of a divorce. This includes all assets that each party brought into the marriage, such as real estate, cash, stocks and more. It also includes assets that may be accumulated during the marriage. A prenuptial agreement also may determine ownership interests of a business that one or both parties currently own, how debt may be handled and more. Many prenuptial agreements include special clauses related to divorce because of infidelity, physical or emotional abuse or other special circumstances. Some agreements also define what amount or percentage of gross income the alimony payments may be upfront.
Do You Need a Prenup?
While a prenuptial agreement may benefit many couples who are preparing to get married, not everyone needs a prenup. On the other hand, a prenup can protect both parties’ interests in some cases. To determine if a prenuptial agreement would benefit either or both of you, consider what your current assets, income level and business ownership interests are. Is there inequity, or do you anticipate there being inequity going forward because on person earns much higher income than the other person? For example, is one person working to put the other person through medical school or law school? Eventually, the student in the relationship may earn a substantially higher level of income than the person who provided financial support initially. You can see that there are many different situations when financial interests should be protected.
How Can You Create a Prenup?
Some couples believe that signing a prenuptial agreement gives both parties an easy way out of a relationship, but this is not the purpose of a prenuptial agreement. Most people enter a marriage with their full intention of putting forth their best effort to make the relationship work, but it is realistically wise to prepare for this possible outcome. After all, you purchase auto insurance in case you are in a car accident rather than because you intend to be in a car accident. Creating a prenuptial agreement generally requires both parties to be represented by their own attorney. The couple may discuss terms before the agreement is drawn up, and many couples are able to fully agree on terms without concern or stress. One attorney will draft the agreement, and both attorneys will review it to ensure that their client’s interests are protected. In addition to ensuring that their client’s interests and rights are protected, the attorneys may look for weaknesses that may affect the enforceability of the contract at a later date.
The alternative to a prenuptial agreement is a postnuptial agreement. Both documents serve the same purpose, but it may be better to resolve the matters in this type of agreement before the marriage when possible. If you are getting married soon, now is a wonderful time to schedule a consultation with a New York City prenuptial agreement attorney.