Regardless of income level, all couples who are marrying should strongly consider getting a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements protect each spouse’s financial and property rights in case of divorce. The following are five reasons to consider getting a prenuptial agreement:
- Opportunity to learn more about each other. By discussing a prenuptial agreement, both partners have the opportunity to learn more about each other, including their present financial situation, habits and history. For instance, you would likely want to know if your partner had significant debt. Having these discussions at this early stage may allow you to avoid surprises down the road and may also minimize the potential for serious conflict.
- Establish certain financial expectations. While marriage is not solely a financial relationship, finances are a critical aspect, which should not be ignored. A prenuptial agreement offers the chance for both partners to outline certain financial goals, as well as expectations and responsibilities to one another. By having a prenuptial agreement, you make these goals and responsibilities more official.
- Protect yourself from your partner’s debt. One of the main functions of a prenuptial agreement is to protect one spouse from taking on the other spouse’s debts. By signing a prenuptial agreement, you can avoid liability for paying your spouse’s debts. A prenuptial agreement makes it clear to creditors that, if your spouse was the one responsible for racking up debt during the marriage, he or she must pay it following the divorce.
- Minimize conflicts over property during a divorce. Prenuptial agreements protect each spouse’s separate assets that normally would be subject to marital property laws, and make it easier to divide property if a couple should get divorced. In a prenuptial agreement, you can decide if you want to designate separate property. By clearly outlining your property rights beforehand, you can minimize property conflicts in the event you get divorced.
- Easier and less expensive divorce. The longer divorces drag on, the more expensive they typically become. Money is one of the main issues for conflict and one of the reasons for protracted divorce proceedings. If you are able to outline your financial rights beforehand, it can make a potential divorce proceeding go much more quickly and be less expensive.
If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, it is important that you seek advice from an experienced family law attorney. Contact the law office of Keith B. Schulefand, Esq. to ensure that your interests are protected and that the prenuptial agreement complies with New York law and will be enforceable.