Queens Prenuptial Agreement FAQsTuesday, June 24th, 2014, 6:51 pm
Prenuptial agreements can be a source of contention among couples, but these contracts can help outline the expectations each party has for their marriage, which is certainly a “do” before a couple says “I do.” As I’ve noted in another blog, the drafting of a prenup should compel a couple to discuss potential issues or concerns. This legally binding contract allows you to decide who will be responsible for what in the relationship, as well as who owns what property or other assets. The attorneys at FK Law Group have a wealth of experience assisting engaged couples throughout Queens and the greater New York City area with the entire prenuptial process. Whether you are looking to draft a prenup or you need an attorney to review a contract your future spouse has presented to you, we can help. We addressed some frequently asked questions on this topic below.
Do I need a prenuptial agreement?
That depends on numerous factors. If you divorce in New York without a prenuptial agreement, a New York court would divide your property equitably, as it’s an equitable distribution state. Equitable does not necessarily mean the assets are split equally, however. So, with that in mind, those who should consider signing a prenup are individuals who have numerous assets, like a home, stock and/or retirement funds, and business owners- basically high net worth individuals. People who are expecting to receive a large inheritance may also want to consider signing a prenup, as well as those who have children from a previous marriage.
How do I know a prenuptial agreement is valid?
Here are some guidelines you must follow in New York for your prenuptial agreement to be deemed valid and therefore legally binding.
• Hire a separate attorney from your spouse
• Don’t attempt to hide any liabilities or assets; in order for your prenup to be valid, you have to fully disclose all of that information
• Sign the prenup no later than 30 days before the wedding
• Follow official legal procedure- the agreement must be made in writing and signed by each party.
• A prenup that is deemed "unconscionable or unreasonable" by a NY court is not valid.
What makes a prenup invalid?
• If the contract seems like it may encourage divorce
• If a court rules that the prenup was written and signed with the intention of divorcing
• One or both parties was forced into signing, which is also why it has to be signed at least 30 days before marriage, lessening the likelihood that one spouse was coerced into signing.
• At least one party did hid assets and/or liabilities.
What are the benefits of a prenuptial agreement?
Filing a prenuptial agreement gives couples the power the decide how their property and assets will be divided if the marriage fails. If you don’t have a prenup, New York will divide the assets in a manner they see fit, which means assets that actually belong to one party may be given to the wrong individual or for example, that individual’s children from a previous marriage. Since prenups are completed and signed prior to marriage, they can definitely help to lessen the emotional and financial turmoil associated with divorce.
We'll have even more questions and answers for you about prenuptial agreements in an upcoming blog. If you have any questions or would like to address any legal concern regarding New York divorce law, contact FK Law Group at 800-631-1757 or send us an inquiry.