Divorce Law and Prenuptial Agreements
A valid prenuptial agreement is typically honored by Rochester divorce courts. If all requirements are followed, the prenuptial agreement would dictate the terms of property division in the event of divorce. Even if the prenuptial agreement conflicts with divorce law regarding asset division, the agreement could still prevail if valid.
Requirements for a Valid Agreement
A valid prenuptial agreement must be in writing and signed freely and voluntarily by both parties. Additionally, it must be acknowledged and signed in the presence of a notary and stamped with the notary seal.
Another important requirement for a valid prenuptial contract involves the full disclosure of assets and debts by each party. Assets may include tangible personal property, real estate, bank accounts, stocks, and any other item of value. Partial disclosure, undervaluing assets, or hiding assets could render an agreement unenforceable.
Both parties to a prenuptial agreement should have an opportunity to obtain independent legal counsel from a prenuptial agreements lawyer in Rochester. The agreement is a legally binding contract, so both parties should be given adequate time to consult with their own attorney before signing.
Allowed and Prohibited Provisions
Prenuptial agreements may cover just about any issue relating to finances, including future payment, or waiver, of spousal support. It may also include terms for supporting children from a previous marriage, as well as assignment of debt incurred prior to the marriage.
However, child custody, child support, and parenting plans may be included but may end up not being enforceable, , as Family Courts have exclusive jurisdiction over these matters in the State of New York under NYDRL §240. Courts make decisions on issues regarding children based on the best interests of the child.