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The thought of entering into a prenuptial agreement does not sit well with many people. It is viewed as a document that expresses a lack of faith in the durability of the marriage about to take place. But this is not the true purpose of a prenuptial agreement. Their main function is to wrest control of property from the New York State judicial system. In the event of divorce or the death of a spouse in a marriage, judges have considerable leeway in deciding how the marital assets are to be distributed and disposed of. A prenuptial agreement gives instruction for how that is to be done in the event that the marriage dissolves or the wealthier spouse passes away.
If you are entering a marriage with large resources and assets, you should feel no reticence or nervousness about asking your future spouse to sign a prenuptial agreement. It is especially urgent to get the contract drawn up and signed if your wealth is bound up with extensive commercial holding and business interests. The livelihoods of a great many people depend on the smooth running of the enterprises that you own or have a large stake in. The fate of these companies and the people they employ should not hinge on the state of your love life and mortality. A prenuptial agreement separates such important interests from the marital estate and helps keep your fortune and franchise intact if things do not work out with your intended.
Ordinary people also have plenty of uses for prenuptial agreements. You do not have to be a very wealthy person to have assets that you are interested in protecting. If you own a house and other properties and you want to remain the sole proprietor of them even after you marry, then you can have a pre-nup drawn up that does just that.
An even more popular use of the prenuptial agreement is to keep the pre-marriage debt of the two parties separate. This is especially important now. Personal debt has skyrocketed over the last twenty years. You and the person you are about to marry may each have college loans, car loans, and credit card debt that you are paying off. Getting a prenuptial agreement that stipulates that each of you is responsible for the debt you incurred before you married is a reasonable precaution to take.
You may also want to keep any family heirlooms you may own under your complete control. These are objects and items that you and you alone should decide how to dispose of. But that will be impossible unless you have a pre-nup. Without such a contract jewelry, antiques, and other precious heirlooms become part of the marital estate, and thus subject to being divided if divorce comes.
There is nothing wrong with protecting your interests. It is no failing or lack of faith on your part to want to preserve everything that you have worked so hard to accumulate. You want to work with a lawyer who specializes in prenuptial agreements. It is the best way to get a contract that will withstand the scrutiny of the law. At the moment, you foresee nothing but happiness and joy with the person you intend to marry. But things may change in the near or far off future. All you can do is ensure that the resources and assets you brought to the marriage remain yours if the marriage does not work out.