Prenuptial Agreement Drafting for Blended Families

By Michael DiFalco
Partner

When you bring two families together to form a blended family, the parties involved bring many interests to consider. One proposed method for navigating those interests is a prenuptial agreement. 

Prenuptial agreements are effective at addressing the many concerns that arise when two families intertwine. They are effective at filling in the blanks found in probate laws and regulations and allow blended families to provide for everyone. More importantly, these agreements help manage expectations and avoid disputes.

Understanding Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptials or prenups are agreements made before marriage that determine interested individuals’ rights to assets and property in addition to addressing other issues. In a non-blended family, there may be only two parties involved in the marriage, which can eliminate the need for a prenup in many situations — but not all. 

Some of the more well-known users of prenups are parties with significant or complex assets. Such individuals use prenups for a multitude of reasons, including to protect family assets and clarify ownership issues. 

It is true that prenuptial agreements may be used by the rich often. However, these contracts are not just for the wealthy. 

Blended Families and Prenuptial Agreements

Blended families feature multiple parties, each with their own interests to take into account. Inevitably, questions arise relating to family assets and funds. It is typically more advantageous to address these questions before a marriage takes place. 

Take a soon-to-be-wed couple as an example. Both parties are divorced, and both have one child from previous marriages. Issues of child support and other financial arrangements may impact the assets and property of each party. 

If, for instance, one of the future spouses has spousal maintenance or child support obligations, the other future spouse may want to ensure that they are not responsible for the other party’s financial obligations stemming from their prior divorce. This issue can be effectively addressed in a prenuptial agreement.

Decision-Making Boundaries

Prenups can also be quite useful in helping blended families establish boundaries relating to various decisions, especially those involving the care of children from other marriages. Prenups can effectively contemplate:

  • Holiday schedules
  • Birthday schedules
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Chores and discipline
  • Schooling

Although these boundaries may not be entirely enforceable, they are effective at setting time and schedule guidelines for blended families. 

Protecting Children

Protecting children from a prior marriage is a top priority for many parents when entering into a new marriage. One way to safeguard them is to prevent separate property from co-mingling with marital property. 

Separately, property and assets remain under the complete control of the future spouse before and during the marriage. This allows them to ensure their child is provided for financially. 

Effective, Comprehensive Planning and Drafting 

Perhaps the most essential aspect of any prenuptial agreement — for blended families and other parties alike — is the drafting of the contract. Errors can lead to unintended consequences and cost time and money. However, a meticulously planned and drafted agreement will stand the test of time and the courts. 

Garden City, NY, prenuptial agreement lawyers understand the details and nuances of prenuptial agreements and help their clients navigate the complex rules involved. When an agreement concerns a blended family, prenuptial agreement attorneys must be even more diligent due to the number of interested parties involved. 

A Prenuptial Lawyer Can Help

If you have a blended family and a prenuptial agreement is at issue, Aiello & DiFalco is here to provide you with the guidance and protection you and yours need. Contact our office to speak with an experienced Garden City, New York, prenuptial agreement lawyer today.

About the Author
I am a partner at Aiello & DiFalco LLP, and my priority for my clients is to guide them through an arduous court case to provide them with the opportunity to write the next chapter in their life. I tailor my approach to each client’s priorities and positions, and to the extent that matters can be predicted, I will always provide a realistic perspective of how the law could be applied to the particular facts and circumstances of a case. Since I thrive on helping people and solving problems, I bring an optimistic and positive approach to practicing in a very difficult area of law. With more than a decade of experience handling hundreds of cases, I have the ability to get results on the issues my clients view as priorities. When cases or certain issues cannot be settled, I have a solid record of success at trials, hearings, and on appeals. Feel free to contact me for a free initial consultation, I am always available to help.