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Pre-Nup Agreement

Divorce Lawyers Nassau County

Prenuptial Agreement

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A prenuptial agreement is a contract between you and your future spouse before marriage. In a prenuptial agreement, you and your spouse disclose all money and property you owned before marriage. You then outline the rights and responsibilities you each want during the marriage, including how you will divide money and property in the event of a divorce or the death of one or both of you.

Although New York law already dictates how property is distributed when a marriage ends in divorce or death, courts will recognize a valid prenuptial agreement that may differ from how New York law divides the property. A prenuptial agreement takes control of your property and assets from the state and places the responsibility on you and your spouse.

A prenuptial agreement is valid and enforceable as long as it protects you and your spouse as long as both you and your spouse have fully and honestly disclosed all assets. The agreement must also be fully formalized by being signed and recognized, as is necessary for a property deed to be recorded.

A prenuptial agreement can solve different problems, including:

Ownership of Property

  • Separate property refers to the possessions and resources you bring into the marriage. As long as you maintain your property distinct from your and your spouse’s joint property, the separate property belongs to you alone during and after the marriage. The prenuptial agreement must state whose assets belong to each of you separately. Despite the prenuptial agreement, your separate property may eventually be deemed marital property and shared equally in a divorce if you fail to maintain it separately (in your name alone)
  • Determination of conjugal property – just as you can determine the individual property of each spouse under the contract, you can determine the property you want as a wedding property, even if it is separate property.

In a prenup, you can specify the separate assets of each spouse and you can specify the items you want to consider as marital assets, even if they are technically separate assets.

Financial Support /Debts

  • Establishing maintenance — If one of you has left your career to “raise the kids,” the prenuptial agreement may determine alimony for you or your spouse during the marriage. In addition, a prenuptial agreement may specify what support you or your spouse will provide to the other spouse during or after the divorce, or it may stipulate that no support will be provided if you later decide to end the marriage. 
  • Create support for children from previous marriages: If you brought young children into the marriage, however, your spouse did not adopt them, a prenuptial agreement can assist and ensure that the kids would be cared for after in the event of a divorce between you and your husband.
  • Establishing pre-marriage debt – If you or your spouse owes a sizable debt before you get married, the prenuptial agreement may stipulate that it belongs to that specific spouse.

Prenuptial agreements are considered enforceable, but you or your spouse can challenge their legality for several reasons, such as:

Separate lawyers: If you sign a prenuptial agreement, you and your spouse must have different legal representation. If you do not have a lawyer, the court will examine whether your marriage is unfair and may order a divorce.

Fraud: A court cannot uphold a prenuptial agreement if you or your spouse knowingly withheld or hid assets.

Coercion/Duress: A court may not enforce a prenuptial agreement if you or your spouse puts undue pressure on them to sign it or doesn’t give the other person enough time to think about it. A court cannot enforce a prenuptial agreement if it is unfair or unfairly favors you or your spouse, such as leaving the other party out.

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