Getting Married? Here’s Why New Yorkers Need A Prenup
You Married? Getting married? Have a consistent boo with whom you regularly speak with about marriage? Has a prenup ever come up in conversation? No, you say? According to lawyers that represent clients both before and after marriages-- you need one. Yes. Even if your assets are nowhere near close to those of the JLo tax bracket. Lauren Young of Reuters wrote for Today that,
For centuries, men and women didn't marry for love -- they married for money. The union of a man and woman was strictly a business arrangement to create financial security and combine fortunes as well as empires.
Today's couples, at least in the United States, have more freedom in selecting a spouse. But they also have a way out of the partnership: divorce. That is why more of them are waltzing down the aisle with a prenuptial agreement in hand.
While nobody wants to talk about, let alone prepare for potential divorce when in the throes of wedding planning, divorce attorneys seem to agree that prenups are more about setting expectations for the marriage as opposed to preparing for marriage failure--even though prenups cover that also.
What is a Prenup?
NY Divorce Attorney and bestselling author of the books If You're in my Office, It's Already too Late and How to Stay in Love, James J. Sexton defines prenups for his legal blog as:
A prenuptial agreement (also known as an antenuptial agreement), is a contract entered into by two members of a legal marriage that usually describes the rights of each party upon death or divorce. This often relates to matters of finance and property. A prenup often serves the interests of both parties, rather than only one party as is commonly perceived. For example, if one partner wishes to ensure the other receives more than they may be entitled to under New York law.
Sexton suggests a couple should consider a prenup if:
You would like to clarify expectations upon the event of death or divorce
You would like to be protected against loss of finance in the event of death or divorce, such as particular assets, a business, etc.
You have a desire to pass on certain assets to children or grandchildren resulting from earlier marriages,
You have children and would like to manage custody issues in the event of divorce through contractual means, or
You wish to manage your finances through your own contractual agreements rather than by the state, in the case of either death or divorce.
What if You're Already Married with No Prenup in Place?
Contrary to the name, prenups can also be entered into when a couple is already married.