Prenuptial Agreement Basics

This article outlines the process of getting a prenup in New York

A prenup or an agreement to marry is one of the most common terms used when discussing wedding plans. A prenup is typically drawn up when a couple is engaged and under contract to be married for at least a year before the wedding ceremony. A legal prenup gives the future husband and wife a clear understanding of their relationship for purposes of getting a divorce if they choose.

A prenuptial agreement or a prenup is a legally binding contract between a future husband and wife that settle legal issues of property division in case of divorce or death. New York law specifies that a prenuptial agreement should be signed by both parties to the marriage. In New York, such a contract is prepared before marriage and becomes effective after the marriage. The state provides for division of marital property and other related issues through divorce proceedings.

reasons why individuals enter into prenuptial agreements

Prenuptial agreements are much more common than one would think. In fact, there are many cases in which one spouse has requested a prenup while the other has refrained from making one. Other reasons why individuals enter into prenuptial agreements include: avoiding spousal support payments; avoiding child support obligations; protecting assets from divorce or bankruptcy; or, protecting children from harmful parents. In some cases, a spouse may have requested a prenup out of fear of divorce and then convince the other spouse that it is now in their best interests to pursue a divorce.

With so many options out there, couples often wonder if a prenuptial agreement actually does any good. In most cases, it helps couples negotiate the pros and cons of divorce much better. When couples come to terms on the details of the agreement beforehand, they are better prepared to deal with the rigors of divorce proceedings. In addition, couples who go through with the process informally do so at their own risk, since the courts do not require that an individual make any type of commitment in front of them. If the spouses do decide to separate legally, this will likely mean that they will have to live in separate residences until the prenup matures.

the marriage dissolves later down the road

In cases where a couple decides to get a prenuptial agreement, they have two main types to choose from: a written agreement or a prenup. A written agreement can be far more specific in how it is worded, and it can be easily modified should the circumstances change over the course of the marriage. A prenup, on the other hand, must be a formal document, and is usually created prior to the marriage. It is created by the bride and groom, and is used to spell out certain aspects of the marriage to the rest of the world. If the marriage dissolves later down the road, then the postnuptial agreements have to be altered accordingly.

Some people are against postnuptials, believing that they limit the future spouses’ freedom. However, there are a number of very important advantages to a prenup. In the worst case scenario, the postnuptials allow for a smoother property division. Once the children are old enough to know who their grandparents are, then they will be able to make their own decisions regarding their estate. Additionally, the prenuptial agreement helps ensure that the future spouses do not spend any time living in fear of their spouse and prevents a lot of fights over property during the years ahead. Prenuptials are very helpful, and many couples actually prefer them to prenuptials, though they should be considered with a lot of caution.

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