Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements have the power to greatly impact marriages and divorces. The attorneys at Brian D. Perskin & Associates, P.C. have represented thousands of New Yorkers in matrimonial actions, and have seen firsthand how a drastically one of these agreements can affect a settlement.
Separate vs. Marital Property
Prenuptial agreements clearly define separate and marital property. This is important to do because your spouse has no legal claim to property or assets that were in your possession prior to the marriage. However, once the two of you join or comingle your separate property, it becomes a marital asset and is subject to equitable distribution.
For example, if you purchased a home before getting married, then the property is separate. Once you add your spouse’s name to the deed or refinance the loan, then the property becomes marital and your spouse has a right to receive part of its value in a divorce settlement. A prenuptial agreement can allow you to stipulate what qualifications are required for separate property to become a marital asset. Additionally, it can dictate which spouse is entitled to what percentage of marital property.
Marital property is any property or asset that is acquired throughout the course of a marriage. This includes both tangible and liquid assets. Under New York State law, all marital property is subject to equitable distribution. This does not mean that assets will be split 50/50, rather, they will divided in a fair and beneficial way.
Prenuptial Agreements = Comfortable, Secure Marriages
Contrary to popular belief, signing a prenuptial agreement does not mean your marriage will end in divorce. Prenuptial agreements provide protection in the relationship should things turn sour, which creates a sense of security.
On the other hand, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can also provide a sense of comfort if a couple decides to divorce. By protecting your assets, you are looking out for your financial well-being. This can be reassuring for a spouse who is worried that divorce will leave them penniless.
In a time of uncertainty and upheaval, knowing certain assets are protected can be reassuring. Pre- and postnuptial agreements dictate how inheritances, tangible property, and investment and retirement accounts are to be handled during divorce. Know how (or if) these assets are to be divided can alleviate tremendous amounts of stress and anxiety.
Money Saving Divorce
The economy may be on the rebound, but money is still tight for many couples. Divorces involving pre- or postnuptial agreements tend to take less time, which saves each party money. Litigation is notoriously expensive, but such costs can be avoided when major issues are addressed prior to divorce. Cases that involve a pre- or postnupt are typically amicable and are finalized faster than contested actions.
Many of our potential clients stress how important it is for them to have a fast and affordable divorce. The best way to guarantee a low-cost and efficient separation is to utilize a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Even if you are happily married now, it is wise to work with an attorney to create a beneficial and mutually agreeable postnuptial document. Thinking ahead can save you thousands of dollars and months of your life should you marriage end in divorce.
Parents who choose to leave their careers to stay at home with their children need to take special precautions before becoming fulltime caregivers. It is imperative that both spouses meet with separate attorneys and develop a fair postnuptial agreement. The postnupt will outline monetary arrangements, parental responsibilities, and stipulations regarding when the stay-at-home parent can return to the workforce. Additionally, postnupts can include spousal and child support agreements that can be utilized during divorce proceedings.
Deciding to put your career on hold to raise your children can be scary, but having a postnuptial agreement can help you ensure that you will be financially secure in the event of divorce.
Postnuptial Agreements and Small Business Owners
If you are a small business owner, it is important to protect your investment with a pre- or postnuptial agreement. In New York State, your spouse may be entitled to half of the value of your business during divorce, which can be detrimental to your company’s success. Without a clearly defined prenupt, your spouse can claim that they invested time and money in the business, and that their support played a direct role in the company’s success.
Protect Yourself with the Prenuptial Agreement Experts
Taking the initiative to protect your finances is the smartest thing you can do before you get married. Brian D. Perskin & Associates, P.C., one of the best New York City divorce and family law firms, has drafted thousands of ironclad pre- and postnuptial agreements. Click here to schedule your free phone consultation.