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A marital agreement can help prepare for the 'what if' situations

The idea of a prenuptial agreement may not seem like a romantic notion to many couples in New York -- or elsewhere for that matter, -- but these legal contracts can set a good tone for what is expected in a marriage. Along with setting certain expectations, a marital agreement will serve to protect personal assets in the event the marriage does not thrive. While the subject of a marital contract can be difficult to broach, there is nothing wrong with wanting to protect oneself from the 'what ifs' in marriage.

Prenuptial agreements are becoming more common, particularly among those who are getting married later in life. These individuals tend to be financially secure, may have children from a previous relationship they want to provide for or have significant assets that they wish to safeguard. Under any of these circumstances, it is fairly easy to create a marital contract before marriage, as each spouse is already well-established.

The terms of a marital agreement can also be discussed after marriage. Those who do not have significant assets before marriage may not have considered a prenuptial agreement but, as life advances, there may be cause to protect acquired assets in a post-marital contract. Whether such agreements are created before or after vows are said, each spouse has certain rights guaranteed them under state laws that must be considered before a final contract is completed.

Creating a marital agreement is a delicate matter. It can certainly be difficult to come to terms that are satisfactory for everyone involved or plan for every possible scenario under the sun. However, legal assistance is available to help couples in New York get through negotiations and create a contract that offers the protections desired in the event the marriage doesn't work as planned.

Source:, "Prenuptial agreements play important role in asset protection, says Atlantic Trust", Feb. 5, 2015

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