At Aiello & DiFalco, we help clients in New York City draft, negotiate, prepare, and review prenuptial agreements. A prenup can protect your rights if things don’t go as planned with your marriage, but it takes a skilled family law attorney to create a well-conceived agreement that contemplates as many possible eventualities. Contact us today to set up a consultation.
What is a prenuptial agreement?
It’s no secret that marriage is both a romantic and financial bond and conflicts over money are a leading reason for divorce. By entering into a prenuptial agreement, you and your prospective spouse can explore financial matters and mitigate the impact of finances on your marriage.
A prenuptial agreement or prenup is a legally binding contract that couples sign before getting married to determine the property rights of each spouse in case they decide to divorce. The agreement can also outline how bank accounts, household expenses, and other debts will be managed during the marriage.
What does a New York City prenuptial agreement cover?
Prenups usually cover a variety of financial issues including:
A prenuptial agreement will usually protect the assets each partner brings to the marriage and differentiate between separate and marital property, including tangible assets such as real estate, collectibles, and retirement funds.
For instance, a couple in New York City might decide to live in a condo or co-op one partner purchased before tying the knot. By outlining in the prenuptial agreement that the property is considered a separate rather than a marital asset, the titled owner can retain possession in the unfortunate event of a divorce.
Without a prenup, the possibility of a dispute over whether a particular property is separate or
marital can result in a contentious legal battle. In such cases, courts may even rule that property acquired before the marriage has become marital property, which can lead to further complications.
The couple can decide whether one will offer spousal maintenance (alimony) to the other if they divorce and the specific amount and duration of such assistance. Most of our New York City prenuptial clients both work, but that may change during the marriage if the couple has children or for other reasons. Discussing spousal maintenance is an important part of negotiating a prenuptial agreement, particularly where there is a significant difference in current or future incomes between the parties.
The couple may mutually agree that neither party will be responsible for the other’s debts if one party has a significantly higher amount of debt than the other or if either party accrues debt during the marriage. Particularly with student loan debts or other significant premarital obligations, including provisions regarding debts is often a part of negotiating prenuptial agreements.
Individuals who have acquired significant assets before the marriage can ensure those assets are deemed separate property under the prenup. This can also prove advantageous in cases where one partner has more property than the other or both parties accumulate a substantial amount of property during their marriage.
A prenuptial agreement can be beneficial if one party owns a business or professional practice by providing clarity and assurance that the enterprise will remain the owner’s separate property after the marriage or in the event of divorce. Protecting the appreciation in value in a business started before the marriage is often a key component of our New York City prenuptial agreements.
Ultimately, a marriage is recognized as a legally binding contract under state law, which grants each spouse property and inheritance rights. Without a prenup, it falls to the court to determine which property is separate or marital and then divide any marital property.
Are prenuptial agreements enforceable in New York City?
Prenuptial agreements are generally assumed to be binding and enforceable. Our goal is to provide parties with a fully enforceable and reliable prenuptial agreement.
However, parties considering a prenup should understand that there are certain circumstances where a prenup can be deemed invalid by a court of law or where a poorly drafted prenuptial agreement may result in ambiguity and costly litigation, and it is, therefore, imperative to work with an experienced, competent New York City prenuptial lawyer.
To ensure the validity and enforceability of a prenup, the parties should hire separate attorneys to review and prepare the agreement. This can help ensure that the terms are fair and just for both and that each party has had the opportunity to fully understand the legal implications of signing the agreement.
What are the benefits of a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement can provide several advantages. First, the parties can resolve any contentious property-related matters in a timely and amicable manner should the marriage end. Additionally, a prenup can protect the inheritance rights of children or other beneficiaries from a previous marriage. Our team of skilled New York City prenuptial agreement attorneys can work closely with you to create a customized prenuptial agreement that protects your property rights.
Talk To An Experienced New York City Prenuptial Agreement Attorney Today
Bringing up a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse may be a sensitive topic, but it’s a practical way to prepare for the future and prevent potential disagreements. If you have concerns or questions about prenuptial agreements in New York City, contact Aiello & DiFalco for a confidential consultation.