In today’s world where a new celebrity is born every minute, separations and divorces are also becoming more common. When they occur, prenuptial agreements usually make their way into the news. Because of this, most people assume prenuptial agreements are needed only by celebrities and others who have a vast amount of wealth. However, that’s not the case. Virtually any couple who is planning to marry can benefit from a prenuptial agreement, since it’s likely both will bring varying amounts of money and property to the marriage. A legal agreement used to clarify ownership of property in the event a marriage falls through, there are many important aspects associated with these agreements. If you are planning a marriage and have concerns about the division of property in the event of a divorce, here are some pertinent facts to keep in mind.
New York Prenuptial Agreements
For those men and women in New York who are considering having a prenup agreement, there are certain things to remember. First and foremost is that the agreement is a legally-binding contract that must be in writing, since an oral agreement most likely will not stand up in a court hearing. Along with this, both persons must sign the agreement and have it notarized prior to the marriage. After these steps are completed and the couple marries, the prenup agreement is in effect.
A Source of Protection
Considered a great way to protect one’s property and wealth as well as that of their family, prenup agreements are very popular due to the flexibility they offer. Aside from limiting child support, visitations, and custody arrangements, virtually anything else can be put into a prenuptial agreement. This can include money held in a savings account, retirement benefits, stocks and other investment income, real estate, and numerous other assets. For many people, these agreements come in very handy if they own their own business. If a prenup is in place when the marriage ends, the business and its profits can be protected. However, without a prenup, the other spouse can try to take over the business or gain a significant amount of money or equity from the business. If this happens, money that the owner may have planned to use for retirement or to give to his children may disappear during a contested divorce. More information on this can be found at www.bankrate.com/personal-finance/smart-money/why-engaged-couples-should-sign-a-prenup/.
How to Create a Solid Prenup
For many people who decide to enter into a prenup, they often think the process is a simple one when it comes to putting it down in writing. However, if they are not careful and choose a generic template they find online, they may be in for an unpleasant surprise. If the template is too simplified and lacks certain elements commonly found in standard prenuptial agreements, it may actually be dismissed by New York courts, which could lead to more questions than answers regarding the ownership of property. For these reasons, it’s crucial to have a prenuptial agreement drafted by an experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney who understands the complexities involved in this process.
Will the Prenup be Contested in Court?
Even when a prenuptial agreement is considered to be quite strong and clear as to the ownership and division of property, it more than likely will be contested in court. However, since it is not uncommon for these and other types of contracts to be contested during divorce proceedings, chances are it will be hold up under the highest degrees of scrutiny. But be prepared during these hearings, since the other spouse’s attorney will likely try to find any errors they can in an effort to help their client. In most cases, the spouse’s attorney will argue the document contains false information, or perhaps lacks key facts needed to make the agreement valid. In some cases, they may even attempt to prove the document was signed under duress, but this defense is rarely successful. To make sure your prenup agreement can withstand these and other arguments, it’s best to work with a family law attorney you trust and have complete faith in their knowledge of the law. By doing so, you will have few worries during the divorce hearings, knowing your agreement is virtually guaranteed to be accepted by the court.
Don’t Put It Off
Because prenup agreements tend to make people think that they expect their marriage to end in divorce, they are sometimes reluctant to discuss it with their soon-to-be spouse. However, by putting this off, many couples whose marriages do result in divorce often have very contested hearings regarding the division of property and wealth, resulting sometimes in damaged relationships that can never be repaired. Rather than find yourself in this situation, never be afraid to discuss this topic with your future bride or groom. By doing so, you will be able to protect the property and income you have worked so hard to earn.
Consult an Attorney
Once you decide to have a prenuptial agreement for your marriage, schedule a consultation with a family law attorney as soon as possible. In doing so, you will give yourself plenty of time to plan the division of property, and make any changes you deem necessary. While these documents may be sensitive topics to many couples, after discussing your situation with an attorney, it will become clear just how important they are to an impending marriage.