Establishing a Prenuptial Agreement in New York

Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer NYC

Protect your future with Levoritz Law Firm, NYC's trusted name in prenuptial agreements, by safeguarding your assets and ensuring your future is as secure as your love.

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Our team of prenuptial agreement lawyers understands the intricacies of marital law and is dedicated to crafting agreements tailored to your unique needs and circumstances.

With meticulous attention to detail and a commitment to safeguarding your interests, we guide you through every step of the process, ensuring clarity, fairness, and peace of mind as you embark on this new chapter of your life. Trust Levoritz Law Firm to provide you with the legal support and assurance you deserve.

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What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement, commonly known as a prenup or a premarital agreement, is a legally binding contract between two individuals who are planning to get married. This agreement outlines the division of assets, debts, and property in the event of divorce or death.

What Does a Prenuptial Agreement Cover?

A prenuptial agreement can address a wide variety of concerns for people who are marrying, including:

  • Asset Division: Specifies how assets acquired during the marriage will be divided in the event of divorce or separation, including property, investments, savings, and businesses.
  • Debt Division: Outlines how debts incurred during the marriage will be divided between the spouses.
  • Property Rights: Determines the ownership and distribution of property brought into the marriage by each spouse, as well as any property acquired during the marriage.
  • Spousal Support: Addresses whether one spouse will pay alimony or spousal support to the other in the event of divorce, and if so, the amount and duration of such support.
  • Inheritance Rights: Clarifies how inheritance and estate matters will be handled, including whether certain assets will be kept separate from marital property.
  • Financial Responsibilities: Can include provisions regarding financial responsibilities during the marriage, such as how household expenses will be shared or managed.
  • Children: May include provisions related to financial support for children from previous relationships or agreements on educational expenses.

Having a plan in place for these vital aspects of finance and lifestyle can help both people in a marriage feel prepared for the future.

Can a Prenup Protect You from Your Spouse’s Debt?

Yes, a prenuptial agreement can potentially protect you from your spouse's debt, depending on the specific terms outlined in the agreement and the laws of the jurisdiction where it is enforced.

In many cases, a prenup can specify that each spouse will be responsible for their own premarital debts, as well as any debts they individually acquire during the marriage. This means that if your spouse incurs debt independently, such as through credit cards or loans in their name only, the prenup may shield you from being held liable for that debt in the event of divorce.

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What Are the Most Common Reasons for a Prenuptial Agreement?

The most common reasons for couples to consider a prenuptial agreement include:

  • Protecting Premarital Assets: Ensure inheritances, businesses, or investments remain separate property in the event of divorce.
  • Debt Protection: Specify how debts will be handled and prevent one spouse from being held responsible for the other's liabilities.
  • Clarifying Financial Expectations: Establish guidelines for managing finances, including sharing expenses, acquiring assets, and making financial decisions.
  • Alimony/Spousal Support: Address the issue of spousal support or alimony, including the amount, duration, and conditions under which it will be paid in the event of divorce.
  • Inheritance Planning: Protect family inheritances or ensure that certain assets are preserved for children from previous relationships.
  • Business Interests: Outline how the business will be handled in the event of divorce, including ownership rights, valuation, and distribution of assets.

Many people believe that a prenup signifies doubt about marriage, but couples use prenups to provide clarity and security regarding their financial future. Creating a prenup simply reduces uncertainty and potential conflicts in the event of divorce — it doesn’t diminish the love in a partnership or belief in a secure, lasting marriage.

New York Requirements for a Valid Prenuptial Agreement

For a prenuptial agreement to be considered valid and enforceable, it must meet several requirements:

  • Voluntary Agreement: Both parties must enter into the prenuptial agreement voluntarily and without coercion or undue influence from the other party.
  • Full Disclosure: Each party must provide full and fair disclosure of their assets, debts, and financial obligations at the time of executing the agreement.
  • Independent Legal Counsel: While not required, it's highly recommended that both parties have their own separate legal representation.
  • In Writing: The prenuptial agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties before getting married.
  • Notarization: It's advisable for the agreement to be notarized to enhance its validity and enforceability.
  • No Fraud or Duress: The agreement cannot be obtained through fraud, misrepresentation, or duress.
  • Executed Before Marriage: The prenuptial agreement must be executed before the marriage takes place.

Consult with Levoritz Law Firm to get personalized advice on what your prenuptial agreement could include and what the process of creating it might look like.

I’m Already Married — Is It Too Late to Create a Prenup?

If you're already married, it's not too late to create a legally binding agreement regarding your financial matters. However, you would be looking at what's called a postnuptial agreement rather than a prenuptial one. A postnuptial agreement serves a similar purpose to a prenup but is created after marriage and has different legal requirements.

Does a Prenup Protect Future Assets?

Yes, a prenuptial agreement can protect future assets acquired during the marriage, depending on how it is drafted and the laws of the jurisdiction where it is enforced.

For example, a prenuptial agreement may specify that any income earned, businesses started, or assets acquired by one spouse during the marriage will remain their separate property in the event of divorce. This can help protect future assets from being subject to division during divorce proceedings.

What Factors Can Invalidate a Prenup?

If prenup creation is done incorrectly, a court may later find the agreement invalid, complicating the divorce process significantly. Prenups may be unenforceable if:

  • A spouse was under the age of 18.
  • A signing spouse wasn't mentally competent.
  • It was not signed by both parties in front of witnesses.
  • One of the spouses was coerced into signing the agreement.
  • The agreement was quickly signed right before the wedding, as it could indicate duress.
  • Overreaching was a factor in the agreement.
  • One of the parties did not have their own legal counsel.
  • The agreement is so unfair or inequitable that it could create financial hardship.
  • A spouse was defrauded in the prenup.

Working closely with a prenuptial agreement lawyer is important because it helps you and your partner create a legally binding document.

Reach Out to an NYC Premarital Agreement Law Firm Today

Ready to safeguard your assets before marriage? Contact our dedicated NYC premarital agreement law firm today to schedule a consultation. Let us guide you through the process with skill and care.

How Our Family Law Attorneys Can Help with Prenups in New York

Our family law attorneys at Levoritz Law Firm in New York offer comprehensive assistance with prenuptial agreements. Here's how we can help:

  • Customized Solutions: We work closely with you to understand your unique circumstances, concerns, and objectives.
  • Negotiation: Our attorneys can assist in negotiating the terms of the prenuptial agreement with your partner to ensure that both parties are comfortable with the terms.
  • Full Disclosure: We ensure that all financial disclosures are accurately made, helping to establish transparency and fairness in the prenuptial agreement.
  • Drafting and Review: Our attorneys draft clear, thorough, and legally sound prenuptial agreements, carefully reviewing all terms to ensure they align with your intentions.
  • Enforcement and Modification: In the event of divorce or dispute, our attorneys can assist in enforcing the prenuptial agreement or seeking modifications as needed.

We’ll put our years of experience and legal education to use in advocating for your best interests and helping you enter your marriage on solid footing.

Why Choose Levoritz Law Firm for New York Prenuptial Agreements?

Choosing Levoritz Law Firm for your New York prenuptial agreement offers numerous benefits:

  • Experience: Our attorneys focus on matrimonial and family law and have extensive experience handling prenuptial agreements in New York.
  • Personalized Approach: We take the time to understand your unique circumstances and priorities, crafting a prenup that reflects your individual goals and concerns.
  • Clear Communication: We communicate openly and transparently throughout the process, ensuring that you fully understand and are comfortable with the agreement.
  • Negotiation Skills: Our attorneys are skilled negotiators who can help facilitate productive discussions with your partner to reach mutually agreeable terms.

We understand the sensitivity needed in crafting a prenuptial agreement and will work tirelessly to reach a mutually agreeable outcome with your partner and their counsel.

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FAQ

  • Can a prenuptial agreement decide child custody and support in the event of divorce?

    When a divorcing couple has children, child custody, visitation, and child support decisions are made based on the best interests of children, not by prenups. However, if prenuptial agreements address custody, support, or related issues, a judge in New York may enforce them when they believe the terms are in the children's best interests.

  • Can I appeal the court's decision not to enforce my prenup?

    Yes. Court decisions regarding prenuptial agreements can be appealed.

  • Do couples getting prenups need separate attorneys?

    It's best that each spouse has their own attorney in preparing a prenup. The attorney for each spouse will ensure that the prenup is fair to their client and that their rights are protected. If you do not have separate attorneys looking out for your interests and questions arise later about unfairness in your prenup, the agreement may be unenforceable.

  • If you sign a prenup, can you get alimony?

    If the prenup includes provisions for alimony, you may still be entitled to it. However, courts can invalidate unfair clauses. It depends on the agreement's terms and state laws.

  • How long does it take to draft and sign a prenuptial agreement?

    Drafting and signing a prenup can take several weeks to a few months. The timeline varies based on factors like complexity, negotiation, and legal review.

  • How long does a prenuptial agreement last?

    A prenuptial agreement typically lasts throughout the marriage. It only becomes effective upon marriage and remains in force unless modified or invalidated by mutual consent or court order.