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Prenuptial Agreements in New York

Helping You Safeguard Your Future Through a Prenup

We realize that a prenuptial agreement is a very sensitive issue for those parties who intend to marry. What differentiates our family law firm from other lawyers is that we look at what your seeking in an agreement from an emotional standpoint. After we find out what you are trying to accomplish and presenting you with numerous scenarios we are able to memorialize your intentions in a legal document. Marriage is not only an emotional and spiritual bond. It is also an economic partnership. A good lawyer has to balance the emotional and economic issues.

Our prenuptial agreements are written in plain English. It won't need translation or deciphering. We've find that agreements written in simpler terms, lead to fewer arguments and present less emotional charge than those using too much legalese. We work to make the process easier on you and your spouse.

If you are in need of a prenup, then our prenuptial agreement lawyers in New York City can meet with you and your future spouse to discuss your options and help you get started.

The basics of a prenuptial agreement

If you're considering a prenuptial agreement, there is a lot to consider. In fact, you may want to download the attached to read through and outline some of the thing you want to accomplish in your prenuptial as going in with a plan will greatly help to make the process smooth. Click here to review a document that you can read and even print, to consider the prenup that will cover what you need.

What does a prenuptial agreement cover?

A prenuptial agreement is also known as a premarital agreement. A prenuptial agreement is a contract between you and your spouse that states what would happen if the marriage ends. While the content of a prenuptial agreement often varies significantly, most prenuptial agreements provide for the division of property (equitable distribution) and spousal support (maintenance or alimony). It is especially advisable to execute a prenuptial agreement to avoid a potential legal battle in a high net worth divorce. If you take the time to clearly define the equitable distribution of any wealth you accumulate during the marriage or assets you possessed before the marriage, the chances that you will end up in a contested divorce will be far less.

The prenuptial agreement can be a very useful tool towards limiting the financial risks that one spouse may incur if he or she were to get married. The document is also used to limit a person's responsibilities in the event that one party to a marriage predeceases the other, by waiving their individual rights to the right of election (taking their share of the decedent's estate which is left by Will or allowed by statute).

Topics that may be covered in this type of agreement include:

You may benefit from a prenuptial agreement if you make a significantly higher salary than your spouse. Many people unfortunately marry for money, but a prenuptial agreement can secure a spouse's money in the event of a divorce. You may also want to enter into a prenuptial agreement because of debt. If one spouse has a lot of debt, whether it was incurred before or during the marriage, divorce proceedings may identify both spouses responsible for the debt.

Reasons for a Prenuptial Agreement

Here are four common reasons that couples establish prenuptial agreements:

  • This isn't your first marriage. If you are remarrying, you probably have a significant number of financial obligations. For example, you may have alimony or child support obligations from your previous marriage. A prenuptial agreement allows you to keep your new spouse free from any obligations associated with your previous marriage.
  • Your spouse has accumulated a large amount of debt. If your soon-to-be spouse has collected a large amount of debt, it is important to make sure that your marriage does not leave you with outstanding financial obligations. In the event of a divorce, you could be left dealing with some of your spouse's debt. A prenuptial agreement allows you to remain debt-free.
  • You are significantly wealthier than your future spouse. If you have more financial assets than your future spouse, a prenuptial agreement ensures that (in the event of a divorce) your financial assets will be protected. Additionally, a prenuptial agreement guarantees that your partner loves you for yourself - not your money.
  • You have significantly less money than your future spouse. Prenuptial agreements can protect the poorer spouse, too. In the event of a divorce, a prenuptial agreement can address issues like spousal support to guarantee that you are financially protected.

How do I ensure that my prenuptial agreement is valid?

In order to be enforceable in New York State, a prenuptial agreement must be in writing, executed by both parties in the manner required for a deed to be signed. It must be entered voluntarily, with full disclosure of the parties' current assets at the time and it cannot be unconscionable. The threat of one party to refuse to marry the other person if they do not sign the prenuptial agreement is not considered duress and does not alter the voluntary aspect of entering into the agreement.

If you and your spouse have decided to draft a prenuptial agreement, it is imperative that you involve an experienced family law attorney in New York. When executed incorrectly, a prenuptial agreement may be tossed out of court. In the event of a divorce, this could be disastrous. For this reason, we encourage you to seek guidance from the team at Eiges & Orgel, PLLC. We can see to it that this process is handled right the first time, and that your best interests are upheld.

Factors that could invalidate a prenuptial agreement:

  • The agreement is fraudulent: both parties must provide full disclosure of their assets before signing a prenuptial agreement. If one spouse intentionally undervalues their assets or fails to disclose them at all, the prenuptial agreement may be rendered invalid.
  • The agreement was signed under duress: if one party is forced to sign a prenuptial agreement under duress or coercion, the agreement could be thrown out altogether. Similarly, agreements made while one spouse is mentally incapacitated will not be upheld in court.
  • The agreement was improperly filed: as with any other contract, both parties must ensure that the paperwork is filed properly. In other words, they must “dot their i’s and cross their t’s.” If the agreement was not properly executed, it may be legally unenforceable.
  • The agreement is unconscionable: the court can choose not to uphold a prenuptial agreement if the terms are unconscionable or grossly unfair to either party. Similarly, if the agreement contains unreasonable provisions, the contract may not hold up in court either.

I’m already married – is it too late to create a prenup?

The family court system in New York recognizes two kinds of marital agreements: prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements. Prenuptial agreements are signed before a couple is married, whereas a postnuptial agreement would be signed after. Both serve the same purpose, so it is never too late to secure the financial protection that you may need in the event of a divorce. Discuss your options with a divorce lawyer at Eiges & Orgel, PLLC today to learn more.

Our New York City Family Law Attorneys Can Help

While you may have seen a prenuptial agreement as a cynical or selfish action, it can actually contribute to the future stability of your marriage. When there is no uncertainty about the financial relationship between you and your spouse, there can be less cause for upsets. An attorney at Eiges & Orgel, PLLC can work with you and your future partner to draft a prenuptial agreement that is tailored to your unique relationship. With our wealth of experience representing couples through divorce, we will seek to write an agreement that effectively guards you both in the event of divorce.

Contact a NYC prenup lawyer who can help you write a legally enforceable prenuptial agreement to prevent the possibility of future legal battles. Call Eiges & Orgel, PLLC today at (347) 848-1850 to get started.

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