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There is a great deal of misinformation in the public sphere concerning the exact nature of the prenuptial agreement. Many people are reticent to have one drawn up or to sign one for fear that it presupposes a marriage that will end in failure. This is simply not the case. A prenuptial agreement is not an indication that one party or the other does not have faith in the marriage. It is a tool used to take decision about property out of the hands of the law courts.
If you are someone with considerable means and you are about to enter a marriage contract, then it is vital that you settle the status of your estate beforehand. Your money and assets may be inextricably bound up with extensive business interests and concerns which a great many people may depend on. These interests must be protected against such contingencies as your death or the state of your relationship with your spouse. The only decent and sane thing for a person whose wealth ensures the livelihoods of hundreds if not thousands of people is to ensure it will go on being used productively regardless of what happens in your love life.
What is described above is one use of prenuptial agreements. Another is that used by people who do not possess great amounts of wealth but still have assets to protect. If you have a house and the person you want to marry doesn’t, then you a pre-nuptial agreement can ensure that the property stays yours no matter what.
One of the more popular uses for the contract involves debt. The pre-marital couple without considerable debt is a rare thing indeed. Both you and your spouse to be might have student loans, car loans, and credit card debt with which you are entering the marriage. You will accumulate further debt after the marriage; and if you do eventually divorce dividing that debt in some equitable way is probably inevitable. But you do not have to be responsible for the debt your partner entered the marriage with. A prenuptial agreement can ensure that you will never be forced to pay your pre-marital debt, your marital debt, and the debt racked up by your partner before the two of you married.
A prenuptial agreement can also help you protect precious family heirlooms and other valuables that are worth considerable monetary and sentimental value. Don’t assume that such objects are automatically off limits if the marriage does not work out. New York State law allows a judge to divide the combined assets of a couple in the way they think most fair and reasonable. The fact that you came into the marriage with jewelry and other such objects that have been in your family for generations does not mean they will not be counted as part of the marriage estate if you get a divorce. The only way to protect them and pass them down to your own children is to draw up a premarital contract that stipulates that you retain sole proprietorship over them.
You should speak to a lawyer if you have concerns about protecting your assets and wealth before you get married. A prenuptial lawyer will help you draft a document that will stand up in court and be enforced should the marriage you are about to enter into fail or should you pass away while in the marriage. A lawyer will ensure that the assets you have before the marriage are disposed of according to your wishes.