Those who are married or about to marry should always consider how they will manage their finances jointly. Speaking with an attorney about what precise efforts they may take now to guarantee any future distribution goes smoothly will help them prevent complications in the future.
Our team of prenuptial agreement lawyers can consult with you and advise you on the best way to carry out a marital plan that meets your demands.
Knowledgeable and Experienced Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys in New York City
If you are about to marry, you should think about the best method to preserve your possessions and future family. Preparing a legally sound prenuptial agreement is one way to do it in New York. A good prenuptial agreement can even assist in reducing marital discord, especially since more than half of all divorces are related to financial problems.
A prenuptial agreement is a highly personal and unique document. As a result, it is beneficial to employ an experienced matrimonial attorney lawyer who can analyze all of the legal and financial implications of the marriage as well as your unique circumstances.
Our New York City divorce 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. We represent individuals throughout the New York City metropolitan area, including the lower Hudson Valley, the five boroughs—Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, and Long Island. With many years’ worth of collective family law experience throughout our firm, Tully Rinckey brings both the dedication and experience needed to uphold your current and future needs.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
These agreements are established before marriage and at a time when couples are ready to embark on a new chapter of their life, and they become effective upon marriage. While prenuptial agreements are often associated with negative stereotypes, they are essential for couples who want to plan for the future and protect themselves.
The state of New York is known as an “equitable distribution state.” Property distribution is normally resolved by the court in the case of a divorce, in a fashion that the court believes must be equitable to both parties. However, having a prenuptial agreement removes the court from much of the responsibilities. Instead, having a plan in place ahead of time ensures that the assets are dispersed evenly in accordance with your earlier 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?
A prenuptial agreement can be customized to your specific situation. The following are some of the more prevalent reasons for having these agreements in place, and should be answered in your prenuptial 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 cannot relinquish a couple’s rights to custody or support of their children. Child custody, support, and visitation are always governed by the needs and best interests of the child.
As with most contracts, certain formalities must be followed for them to be deemed legitimate and enforceable by the courts. Because of the nuances, it is highly advisable for you to work with an attorney that may be able to review your agreement so you can ensure that your contract is valid.
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: Each spouse must make full disclosure of their assets when their agreement is written. However, it is not uncommon for a partner to undervalue their assets or try and hide them in case of a divorce so they would not be part of any settlement. If you can show that your spouse did not completely disclose their assets, you may be able to have the prenuptial agreement nullified. The same may be said about debt disclosure. It may be grounds to have the agreement invalidated if you discover your spouse has more debt than is listed in the agreement.
Coercion: If one of the spouses was forced into signing the prenuptial agreement, the court may rule that it is invalid. One spouse may have been forced to sign the agreement by their spouse, lawyer, or other family members. Although this is difficult to show, it is not unheard of for a judge to invalidate a prenuptial agreement if there is a witness.
Filing Issues: The prenuptial agreement must be created and submitted according to the state’s laws. In order for it to be legal, it must be created and submitted in a very precise way, just like any other legal document. The prenuptial agreement may be invalidated if you can establish that it was incorrectly filed or extremely lopsided. This is why it is best to write and submit a prenuptial agreement with the help of a qualified and experienced divorce/matrimonial attorney.
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.
Our New York City Martial Agreement Attorneys are Available to Assist you Today
If your financial security is at risk, it may be worth working with an experienced divorce attorney who can best protect your assets and future. Our divorce attorneys routinely assist families throughout the New York City metropolitan area, both counties in Long Island—Nassau and Suffolk., the five boroughs, and the lower Hudson Valley.
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