About Prenups in New York
Couples getting ready to marry are likely to first and foremost focus on the planning aspect of their upcoming nuptials – finding the venue, buying the dress, hiring a photographer, etc. While there is already so much to consider, many couples also start thinking about legal matters as well, such as signing a prenuptial agreement.
There are a few reasons why a couple might not consider a prenuptial agreement or "prenup." Some may not understand what the agreement is and what it means for the marriage. Then there are others who know what it is, but feel that signing a prenup is essentially an expectation of failure that will cause problems in the marriage, leading to a potential divorce.
What Is the Purpose of a Prenup?
One of the most common questions regarding prenuptial agreements is whether it increases the likelihood of the two parties divorcing. At the end of the day, the answer to this question usually depends on how the two parties look at the prenup and what they consider it to be.
It’s important for parties to understand exactly what a prenup is and what it means for their specific situation. Without a thorough understanding of the purpose of a prenup, it can be difficult to make an educated decision that isn’t biased by the opinions of others.
Considering signing a prenup? Contact us at (516) 406-8500 to speak with a lawyer and find out if a prenuptial agreement is right for your unique situation!
What Is a Prenup?
In New York State, a prenuptial agreement, or "prenup," is a legally binding document drafted and signed before a marriage that sets certain expectations for ownership of assets should the marriage fail.
Here is the definition of a prenup from the New York City Bar:
"A prenuptial agreement is a contract between you and your future spouse that is entered into before marriage."
Why Get a Prenup?
Signing a prenup can potentially help a couple avoid contentious problems down the road. For instance, prenups can be used to protect one party’s assets, or protect one spouse from becoming responsible for the debts of another. It can also be used to clarify financial rights and responsibilities before you say “I do.”
With a prenup, if the couple decides to divorce, the court in New York would look at this agreement as the basis of the factors involved in a dissolution of marriage rather than basing their decisions on state divorce law. The two parties have already agreed on some of the matters of divorce, such as property division and child custody, which helps to simplify the process and gives the divorcing spouses more control over their own affairs.
Can a Prenup Lead to a More Likely Divorce?
By necessity, signing a prenup involves discussion of divorce before a couple has even married – an alarming thought for some. For some people, the idea of a possible divorce before the marriage even begins casts doubt on the love involved in the relationship, as they are already talking about “what ifs.”
This is not how prenuptial agreements should be viewed – rather, they should be seen more as a way to set certain expectations and level the playing field before making a lifelong commitment as important as marriage.
The Benefits of a Prenup
Some couples actually feel that signing a prenup opens up the conversation regarding finances, making them trust each other more. It can also put the parties at ease knowing that if something does happen, there is already a plan in place that the court can use to make a decision.
If a divorce does happen, the prenup can make the process quicker, less costly, and less contentious. The likelihood of the divorce only increases if the two parties allow the prenup to play a huge role in the trust they have for each other, diminishing it rather than opening a venue for communication.
Long Island Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys
For 40 years, our team of Long Island prenuptial agreement lawyers have been helping clients navigate the complex area of family law. Wisselman, Harounian & Associates has more than 150 collective years of experience, helping clients reach their goals in all areas of family law and divorce, including prenups. We know how to simplify everything for you, making sure you understand what to expect every step of the way.
Are you interested in discussing a prenuptial agreement with our team? Call us today and learn more.