I’m designing my wedding dress, selecting flowers, and tasting cakes
for the happiest day of my life! Why is my fiance talking to me about a prenup?
That’s what Michelle said to me tearfully during a recent phone consultation.
Much of the stigma surrounding prenups—prenuptial agreements—has
to do with the thought that, by signing this agreement before your marriage,
you are planning for a divorce. But that is simply not true!
The truth is prenups can actually make a relationship stronger. It forces
couples to set goals and create some guidelines for their marriage.
Here are some of the issues you can address in a prenuptial agreement:
1. define separate property - it can be property received both before and
after marriage if you so define it, tort settlements, disability income,
otherwise it has different definitions by law. State whether the increase
in value of separate property is separate property or marital property
if the marriage ends.
2. define marital property that will be split in the event of divorce.
For example, it can be money put in a specific joint account, a specific
number, a specific number of years worth of property, a specific percentage
of property, either or both parties' income during the marriage, and
so on. There is a statute that covers these issues in the event the marriage
ends, and the agreement allows the couple to "opt out" of some
or all of the law in this statute. You can define mixed property, real
estate ownership, and income therefrom.
3. define estate rights: how much of the other's estate does the partner
receive upon the death of the spouse if still married and also if no longer
married—what will go in your wills.
4. the possibility and amounts of life insurance; health insurance.
5. issues around payment of bills and spending during the marriage and
other important matters such as religious observance, especially for any children.
6. spousal support in the event of a dissolution of the marriage—amount,
length of time, coverage by life insurance, disability insurance and other
items, effect of presence of children, etc.—usually for the dependent spouse.
7. who remains in the marital residence in the event of a dissolution,
for how long, and if there are children.
8. the possible custody and visitation of any children (always subject
to alteration by a court due to public policy) in the event of divorce.
9. endless other issues—e.g., grandparents, travel—too numerous
to mention and unique to every couple.
I tell couples that a prenuptial agreement is a “safety net.”
If you marry and remain together for a lifetime, then your prenuptial
agreement will mostly be irrelevant. But, if divorce does take place,
then the main benefit of a prenuptial agreement will be that it was fairly
discussed and decided while you were both still in love.
By agreeing ahead of time, and defining your wishes in a prenuptial agreement,
you will save money on attorneys, the divorce process will take less time,
and will cause you both less trauma.
If you are getting married and thinking about a prenuptial agreement, call me.
As a seasoned divorce attorney with over 35 years of experience, I have
drafted thousands of prenuptial agreements. I am creative, can think outside
the box, and will provide you with a prenuptial agreement tailored to
your specific needs. Don’t be afraid of a prenuptial agreement,
if you do eventually divorce, you will be glad you had one!
Lots of couples ask how quickly I can draft a prenuptial agreement. Just
give me your wedding date, and I promise to get you down the aisle with
your prenup in hand!
Call me now to schedule your free consultation.
During the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic all our
FREE CONSULTATIONS are
conveniently conducted virtually to reduce risk.
I hope to hear from you!
Stay healthy and safe!
And to all of you getting married, I send you warm wedding wishes,
New York divorce attorney Lois Brenner still has some appointments available
Please call to schedule your FREE consultation now.
We can book a consultation for you immediately!