Long Island Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements Lawyer
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are contracts that are executed between spouses or future spouses that determine their respective rights during the marriage and in the event of a divorce. The purpose of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is to amicably arrange your financial matters between you and your partner. Business and financial interests can be intricate and complex, especially when there is a vast amount of property or other assets at stake. There may be many different reasons for settling such matters now as opposed to sometime in the future when current laws may have changed. Having a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement does not necessarily indicate that a divorce is an imminent event for your marriage.
The Law Office of Joshua Adam Kittenplan can advise and represent you in negotiating a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that meets your needs, and we can draft or review any agreement to make sure it is valid, enforceable, and protects your rights in case of divorce. Call our experienced Long Island prenuptial & postnuptial agreements lawyer today.
What a Prenuptial Agreement Can Do for You
Creating a prenuptial agreement before marriage puts you and your future spouse on the same page regarding your expectations for how certain matters such as the division of property or the payment of maintenance (alimony) will be handled in the event the marriage doesn’t work out. By creating the prenup now, you help ensure that decisions are made on a calm, rational basis that truly meets your needs. The alternative is to leave these questions unanswered until a divorce proceeding has already been initiated, potentially costing the parties unnecessary time, expense, stress and emotional conflict, often ending with one party getting a result at the expense of the other or neither party being satisfied with the outcome.
Entering into a prenup or postnup doesn’t mean you believe your marriage is doomed to fail. On the contrary, marriages can be made stronger when both parties go into the marriage with their eyes open to each other’s expectations. Each party can also feel safer and more secure in the marriage knowing their important rights and interests will be protected and they won’t be taken advantage of even if the relationship sours.
Any couple can benefit from a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, but they are often most attractive to couples going into the marriage with significantly unequal assets or income. People who have been married before are also more likely to want the protections of a prenuptial agreement to protect their interests or if they have children from a previous marriage they want to look after. Below are a few of the main things a prenuptial agreement can accomplish:
- Keep one’s separate property separate. The prenuptial agreement can specify which items are separate property and the intent to keep them out of the marital estate, so they would not be divided in a divorce.
- Decide how assets in bank, retirement and investment accounts will be treated.
- Decide how to treat the appreciated value of assets. If a non-marital asset is something that earns interest, rents, royalties or grows in value, will that appreciation be marital or separate property?
- Dictate the terms of a will, life insurance policy or health insurance, including intended beneficiaries, covered individuals and coverage amounts.
- Decide whether spousal support or maintenance will be paid and if so, by whom, how much and for how long.
- Define which assets will be considered marital property.
- Provide for support of children from a prior marriage.
- Establish whether pre-marital debts are to be kept separate and who is responsible for paying them.
- Protect the inheritance rights of children from a previous marriage by dictating whether a spouse will be allowed to take their elective share of the estate. (Prenuptial agreements can determine what happens in the event of a spouse’s death and not just in cases of divorce)
How to Ensure Your Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement Is Valid
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements must meet many legal formalities to be valid and enforceable if they are ever needed. Have your document drawn up by an experienced family law attorney who knows the law regarding prenuptial and postnuptial agreements in New York. The agreement should be based on a full and fair disclosure of each party’s assets and debts. Neither party should feel pressured or rushed to sign the agreement. Any evidence of fraud or coercion could render an otherwise valid agreement unenforceable.
Each party should also have their own separate counsel represent them in contract negotiations or at least review the agreement with them before signing. Your independent counsel can ensure the document meets your needs, protects you, does what you want it to, and is fair to you.
Contact the Law Office of Joshua Adam Kittenplan
Nobody gets married expecting to get divorced, but the reality is that divorces are quite common. If you do get divorced, you can let a judge decide what happens to your property and whether you’ll pay or get spousal support, or you can decide these vital matters yourself in a way that makes the most sense for you. The Law Office of Joshua Adam Kittenplan will listen to you and help you get a result that meets your specific needs. Call our experienced Long Island prenuptial & postnuptial agreement lawyer today.