Knowledgeable and Experienced Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys in Buffalo

If you are preparing to marry, you should consider the best way to protect your assets and future family. In New York, creating a prenuptial agreement that is legally sound is one way to go about it. Given that financial issues are a factor in more than half of divorce cases, a strong prenuptial agreement may even help to lessen marital strife.

A prenuptial agreement is a very unique and personal contract. Therefore, it is advantageous to hire a seasoned matrimonial attorney who can assess all of the marriage’s potential financial and legal ramifications as well as your particular situation.

Our Buffalo matrimonial attorneys are experienced and capable of drafting your prenuptial agreements. They have a deep understanding of New York State family and matrimonial laws and will ensure that your rights and best interests are maintained throughout the formation of your marital agreement. With many years’ worth of collective family law experience throughout our firm, Tully Rinckey brings both the dedication and experience needed to meet your current and future goals.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

These agreements are made prior to marriage when a couple is ready to start a new chapter in their lives, and they take effect once a couple gets married. Prenuptial agreements are crucial for couples who wish to protect themselves and make plans for the future, despite the negative connotations that are frequently attached to them.

New York is known as an “equitable distribution state.” In the event of a divorce, the court will often decide how to divide the property in a way that it deems to be equitable to both parties. However, having a prenuptial agreement relieves the court of many tasks. Instead, having a plan in place ahead of time ensures that the assets are distributed equitably according to your previous agreement.

It is important to note, however, that prenuptial agreements cannot address matters relating to child support or custody issues.

What Should You Include in Your Prenuptial Agreement?

You can alter a prenuptial agreement to fit your unique circumstances. Prenuptial agreements are frequently used for the reasons listed below, which you should address in your agreement:

  • Agree to property rights and ownership of property acquired during the marriage;
  • Protect assets held before marriage from potential distribution;
  • Entitlement, or lack thereof, to a prior or current estate/inheritance;
  • Protect children from a prior marriage or relationship as to their inheritance rights;
  • Set amount and duration of spousal maintenance in event of a divorce or separation; and
  • Waive rights to spousal maintenance, equitable distribution, or counsel fees in case of divorce or separation

A prenuptial agreement is unable to waive a couple’s rights to child custody or maintenance. The needs and best interests of the child are always taken into account when determining child custody, maintenance, and visitation.

Similar to other contracts, there are formal requirements that must be met in order for a contract to be recognized by the courts as valid and enforceable. Due to the complexities, it is strongly advised that you work with a lawyer who may be able to analyze your agreement and ascertain its legality.

Issues That Will Invalidate Your Prenuptial Agreement

While prenuptial agreements are enforceable once signed, there are some issues that could arise after the signing, that could invalidate your agreement. Below are a few of the most common reasons why a court may invalidate a prenuptial agreement.

  • Fraud: When their agreement is established, each spouse must disclose all of their assets in full. In order to avoid being included in any settlement in the event of a divorce, a partner frequently undervalues their assets or tries to hide them. The prenuptial agreement can be void if you can demonstrate that your spouse did not fully disclose their assets. The same might be said regarding disclosing debt. If you learn that your spouse has more debt than what is specified in the agreement, this could be cause for the agreement to be thrown out.
  • Coercion: The prenuptial agreement may be declared invalid by the court if one of the spouses was coerced into signing it. The other spouse, their attorney, or other family members might have coerced one spouse into signing the agreement. Even though it can be challenging to prove, it is not unheard of for a judge to declare a premarital agreement invalid in the presence of a witness.
  • Filing Issues: The prenuptial agreement needs to be written and filed in accordance with state regulations. It must be prepared and submitted in a specific manner, just like any other legal document, in order for it to be considered lawful. If you can prove that the prenuptial agreement was filed incorrectly or is incredibly unbalanced, it may be declared void. For this reason, it is recommended to draft and submit a prenuptial agreement with the assistance of a licensed and skilled divorce/marriage lawyer.

While it’s not an exhaustive list of reasons that a court might invalidate your prenuptial agreement, knowing the cases where it will and won’t result in an invalidation can help protect your well-being should your relationship not work out.

With your financial future at stake, it might be worth working with an experienced divorce attorney who can best protect your assets and future. Our matrimonial attorneys routinely assist families across Buffalo and Western New York and have helped many individuals navigate the complexities of New York State’s marriage laws.

To schedule an initial consultation with a member from our experienced team, contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 8885294543 or info@tullylegal.com

You can also use our secure Live Chat feature to connect with us regarding your matter. Your message will be delivered to a secured firm account with a member from our team ready to assist you.

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