Prenuptial Agreements

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Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers in Westchester County, NY

New York Premarital Attorneys

Protecting Separate Property Prior to Marriage

Thinking about and negotiating a prenuptial agreement is not usually one of the first things that couples planning to marry often consider. Let’s face it, it is not thought of as a romantic or pleasant thing for an engaged couple to discuss. However, for individuals with significant or numerous assets, it is important, realistic and necessary. One easy way to think about a prenuptial agreement is to consider it as a form of marriage insurance that is meant to protect both spouses and their assets should the parties eventually choose to divorce.

“Equitable Distribution” and the Prenuptial Agreement

New York is an “equitable distribution” state and therefore treats that whatever assets, wealth or debt you bring to the marriage as “separate property.” It also assumes that any and all assets earned and debt incurred during the marriage is “marital property.” This means that at the time of a divorce, the Court will divide the marital assets and debts “equitably” or as the Court views as legally “fair.”

With this in mind, the prenuptial agreement is important in two ways;

  • First, the prenuptial agreement can clearly define and designate what is property the parties deem separate. Having an accurate accounting or list of assets can be beneficial and useful if the parties decide to divorce.
  • Second, a prenuptial agreement can waive the right to equitable distribution. Alternatively, it can clearly outline what marital assets the parties will receive and which debts each would be responsible for. The prenuptial agreement can also eliminate questions about spousal maintenance by setting a time limit and dollar amount.

Children and the Prenuptial Agreement

One of the things that the prenuptial agreement cannot define are issues involving child custody, child visitation and child support. Those issues are left up to the Court in a divorce case and are determined based upon the legal basis of “the best interest of the child.”

Prenuptial Services in Westchester County

Riebling & Payton, PLLC will meet with you and can draft a prenuptial agreement to meet your needs, and thoroughly review any agreements you have been asked to sign. Depending on the circumstances, our divorce and family law attorneys can answer your questions and provide you with detailed explanations about how the agreement will affect you. The most important thing is that you make a fully informed decision and understand all of the benefits and consequences of the agreement.

Contact Our Premarital Attorneys

Since every situation is unique, we realize that part of our role is to help you understand the many issues and concepts involved and to find the best solution for you. At Riebling & Payton, PLLC, we pride ourselves on doing this for our many divorce and Family Law clients. With offices located in White Plains, NY and Mount Kisco, NY we are prepared to meet with clients throughout Westchester County.

Contact us online or call (914) 712-6878 to schedule your free initial divorce consultation.