A prenuptial agreement does more than protect assets

Those getting ready to head down the aisle have a lot to think about. Wedding plans can be all-consuming, but taking time to plan for the future is also important. Couples in New York, regardless of their financial circumstances, could benefit from a prenuptial agreement for a number of reasons.

When people think of prenuptial agreements, they think of documents meant primarily for the wealthy. This is just one of many misconceptions about these marital agreements. Prenups serve several purposes beyond protecting assets, including:

  • Protection against assuming your spouses debts
  • Determining how property is to be divided in the event of death
  • Setting financial rights and specific responsibilities for the marriage

Without a prenuptial agreement, all assets -- both negative and positive -- acquired during the marriage are subject to equitable distribution laws in the event of divorce. Property that is considered separate property can generally be kept by the individual who brought it into the marriage. In the event of death, a spouse would receive the marital property, unless certain legal protections are taken.

Seeking assistance in devising a prenuptial agreement is vital in ensuring the validity of the final document is upheld in a New York court. It is important for prenups to be clear, justifiable and meet state requirements; otherwise, a judge has the right venture from the agreement when determining asset division in the event of divorce or death. Creating a marital agreement that meets these standards and meets the individual needs of each spouse is possible.

Source: FindLaw, "Can Prenuptial Agreements Help You?", , Sept. 11, 2014

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