Many people who marry hope that their marriage will last and do not intend to divorce, but what happens if the marriage ends? Will one spouse pay alimony to the other? How will the marital property be divided? One way to resolve these questions without court intervention is to have a prenuptial agreement in place.
A prenup is an agreement that stipulates the rights of each future spouse and clarifies the division of marital assets and debts in the event of divorce. A well-conceived prenuptial agreement provides several benefits, not the least of which is avoiding a prolonged, costly court battle in case your marriage ends in divorce.
If you are planning a wedding, talk to an experienced family law attorney at Aiello & DiFalco LLP about whether a prenup is right for your situation. We represent clients throughout Long Island and New York City.
What Are the Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement?
Some believe that prenups are only for the wealthy or “unromantic.” On the contrary, more and more people are using prenuptial agreements to protect their financial future should their marriage end in divorce. In addition to minimizing disputes and avoiding divorce litigation, signing a prenuptial agreement offers numerous benefits, including:
Encourages a Pre-Marital Conversation About Money
Negotiating a prenup allows soon-to-be spouses to have an honest discussion about finances. They can decide how much income each party should set aside for savings or investing in a retirement account and include a stipulation covering saving and investing in the prenup. Having a conversation about finances is beneficial because the couple will start their marriage with an open dialogue and a deeper level of trust. Ultimately, having a well-conceived prenup can help the couple resolve common financial issues in a divorce and fast-track the process.
Defines Marital Property
In a New York divorce, courts follow the rules of equitable distribution when dividing marital property. Determining what constitutes marital property can be challenging, especially in a contentious divorce or if either spouse attempts to conceal assets. A properly drafted prenup can avoid such disputes by clearly defining marital property and establishing the division of that property should the couple divorce. The agreement must provide for a fair and reasonable division of the marital assets to be approved by the court.
Ensures Fairness In Dividing Assets
A partner who has accumulated wealth risks losing a considerable portion of their assets in a divorce if they marry someone whose assets are significantly less. In this situation, a prenuptial agreement serves as a wealth preservation tool because the contract will exclude assets acquired before the marriage from the distribution formula.
Makes A Divorce Less Complicated
It is possible for some couples to have an amicable divorce; however, a contentious divorce can be costly and time-consuming. Even if the parties agree on the issues in a divorce, the process can be long and expensive in terms of legal fees and court costs. A properly drafted prenuptial agreement can help the parties quickly resolve common legal issues in divorce and make the process quicker and less complicated.
Protects You From Debt
After you marry, you may become responsible for your partner’s obligations, including debt, if you do not agree about these issues beforehand. If one partner has significantly more debt than the other, the debt-free spouse can protect themselves from these obligations through a prenuptial agreement. In short, singing a prenup means that your spouse’s financial liabilities cannot be transferred to you should the marriage end in divorce.
Protects Children From Previous Marriages
If you get married and have children from a previous relationship, a prenuptial agreement allows you to designate specific assets for those children and protect their inheritance rights. In this way, a prenup acts as an effective estate planning tool in conjunction with a will.
Protect Your Business
Businesses are subject to equitable distribution in a New York divorce. If you own a business, it may be liquidated if the assets are subject to division. A prenuptial agreement can designate the business as separate property and provide for the distribution of other assets to ensure the other spouse receives a fair share of the marital property.
How Our Firm Can Help
At Aiello & DiFalco, we have extensive experience negotiating and drafting prenuptial agreements. When you meet with us, we will take the time to assess your finances and tailor a prenup to your needs and objectives. Above all, we can help you create a prenup that protects your interests, is fair to both parties, and is enforceable by the court.
Contact Our Experienced Prenuptial Agreement Attorney
Creating a prenuptial agreement is beneficial because it can set a tone of openness and honesty that will carry over into your marriage. By working with our experienced attorneys, you can create a prenup that will protect your rights and interests in the event of divorce. Contact us today to set up an appointment.