Family Law: Prenuptial Agreements

wedding ringsA ring is purchased, he’s on one knee, tears begin to spill….and you say, “Yes, I’ll marry you.” The happy times begin as the wedding planning is in full swing. But there is one conversation left to have…someone wants a prenuptial agreement.

Often the first thought is…divorce. If someone wants a prenuptial agreement, that means they plan to divorce at some point in the future and that’s just not a good start to a marriage. However, prenuptial agreements can be very protective for all parties involved. It allows for disputes that may otherwise arise later in the marriage to already be resolved. But they also must be fair; all parties must have a full disclosure of the other’s assets and financial circumstances.

Prenuptial Agreements commonly contain the following provisions:

o Set out each party’s assets, debts, and property rights before marriage.

o Settle issues surrounding the division of property and support payments in the event of divorce.

o Protect the interests of children from a previous marriage.

o Ensure that your estate is distributed according to your wishes upon your death, and is protected against additional claims by your spouse.

However, divorce is not the only reason for a prenuptial agreement. Particularly in the case of a second marriage, absent a prenuptial agreement, it is possible that children from the first marriage may be mistakenly omitted from the estate upon the death of a spouse.

Given the emotional nature surrounding both divorce and death, Courts often find a party challenging the validity of a prenuptial agreement. If a Court feels that the agreement was signed under duress or the terms are unconscionable, the Court has the right to throw out the agreement. Therefore, it is important to have these agreements prepared by a family law expert. Our attorneys can assist you in the drafting of prenuptial agreements to ensure your intentions are properly enforced.

Our Westchester family law attorneys will be able to support you during these emotional times and ensure your best interests are preserved. Please contact our Westchester Family Law Attorneys today at (914) 864-2465 or (845) 628-4301 to discuss your rights.