Why consider a prenuptial agreement?

Most people think that the only couples that can benefit from marital contracts are the ultra wealthy. It is true that when one or both parties are coming into the marriage with substantial assets, protecting those assets is wise. The same can be said for those of all income levels. A prenuptial agreement can be sought by anyone, in New York or elsewhere, regardless of economic status.

So, why consider a prenuptial agreement? There is certainly nothing romantic about planning a wedding and planning for a possible divorce at the same time. However, there are certain situations that make creating a marital contract worthwhile. Four of the top reasons for requesting a prenuptial agreement are:

  • Blended families/second marriages
  • Owning a business
  • Debt
  • Inheritances

When combining families in second marriages, it is okay for parents to want to protect any assets their children may be entitled to from a previous relationship. For business owners, it is normal to want to exclude business assets from marital assets. For those in debt, again, a question of shared responsibility comes into play -- who has to pay back what is owed? Finally, if one party receives an inheritance during the marriage, will it be included in a divorce settlement? A prenuptial agreement can protect assets from previous marriages and keep separate property and assets just that -- separate.

A prenuptial agreement can protect the assets that both parties bring into the marriage. It can also create protections for the "what ifs" that often arise during a relationship. An experienced family law attorney can assist couples in New York as they prepare for their futures together by making sure the protections they need and desire are appropriately documented in legally binding contracts.

Source: The Huffington Post, "5 Reasons For a Prenup -- Even if You Aren't a Celebrity", Kyung Dickerson and Alan Plevy, June 24, 2016

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