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Prenuptial agreement basics; what New Yorkers need to know

There is often a lot of confusion about prenups, including what can be included and who these documents can actually help. The simple truth is that a prenuptial agreement can be an effective tool for any marriage -- if it is properly formulated. For New York residents who are about to tie the knot, here are a few basics about prenuptial agreements.

As mentioned in a previous post, prenuptial agreements do more than simply protect finances. While protecting assets is an important part of a prenup, other concerns also come into play. Those who fall into one of the following categories may also benefit from creating a marital agreement:

  • Business owner
  • Pursuing a professional license or degree that may result in a profitable career
  • Have children from a previous marriage
  • Have a loved one with special needs

While these represent only a few reasons to consider a prenuptial agreement, those who choose to pursue a prenup, regardless of their end-goal, need to make sure all legal bases are covered. To ensure that each party is equally protected, having separate legal representation, listing all assets and wants, and completing an agreement well before the wedding can help establish a valid and enforceable document. After a prenuptial agreement has been completed and the marriage has taken place, it is not uncommon for circumstances to change. Modifying agreements and making sure they are kept up-to-date should not be overlooked.

New York residents who want to ensure their assets, loved ones and privacy are protected in the event of divorce can benefit from a marital agreement. However, making sure these documents are legally sound is a must. Taking the proper steps in constructing a prenuptial agreement can make all the difference if, for whatever the reason, the marriage doesn't work out.

Source:, "Everything you need to know about prenuptial agreements", Dec. 8, 2014

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