Marriage is more than a couple making vows to love each other for the rest of their lives. It is a contract that merges the assets and responsibilities of two people. Increasingly, this reality hits people when they are considering marriage. In order to protect assets and keep finances clear, many couples choose to sign prenuptial agreements before they marry.
Why Have a Prenuptial Agreement
Prenuptial agreements help couples define how to manage their finances during marriage, in case of divorce, and even if one of them dies unexpectedly. The courts expect certain things in place for a valid agreement. First, the couple must put it in writing. Neither party can use coercion get the other party to sign the agreement. The agreement cannot leave someone without any assets or put too much burden on either party. Finally, a notary must witness the signatures and provide their seal for a valid agreement.
New York has not adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. The only law on the book about these agreements in New York is that it must be in writing and signed by both parties. The contents are up to the couple.
Getting a Prenuptial Agreement
To arrive at a prenuptial agreement, first, you need to talk with the person you are going to marry. This is not a discussion to have a week before the wedding. You need to have this particular conversation among other discussions of finances, months before you meet at the altar. This is the most difficult part of the process.
If you reach an agreement, you each will need a separate New York prenuptial agreement lawyer. One attorney will draw up the papers based on the conditions that the couple provides. That attorney will represent one half of the couple. The other attorney will read the agreement and make sure it meets legal requirements and provides protection for his client.
When everyone agrees to the conditions of the agreement, the couple signs it in the presence of a notary who acts as the official witness of the act. Both parties get official copies of the document and often hold another copy in an attorney’s office.
Both people get protection from the prenuptial agreements. The agreements protect assets purchased before a marriage, define how the couple will handle property if they divorce, and could also layout who gets what if one dies without a valid will in place.
If you are considering forming a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse, seek New York prenuptial agreement lawyers who knows the state law and will help you contract a document that holds up to scrutiny.
To learn more about drafting prenuptial agreements, contact the experienced and knowledgeable Brooklyn prenuptial agreement lawyers at Alatsas Law Firm.