Brooklyn Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers: A Helpful Guide for Couples
Getting married is one of the most exciting times in a couple’s life. While you may be focused on wedding plans, your Brooklyn prenuptial agreement lawyer knows it’s also important to have open conversations about your financial future.
A prenup essentially sets the ground rules for how you’ll manage your finances as a married couple. It can give both spouses peace of mind going into the marriage. Prenups aren’t just for the rich and famous – they can benefit everyday couples in Brooklyn too.
This article will walk you through everything you need to know about prenups in Brooklyn. We’ll cover:
- What is a prenup?
- Common prenup terms
- Benefits of a prenup
- Things to discuss with your lawyer
- Estimated costs
- Steps to take
We’ll also link out to useful resources throughout the article so you can dig into topics further. Let’s get started!
What Exactly is a Prenup?
A prenuptial agreement, or prenup, is a legally binding contract created by two people before they get married. It details how assets and debts will be divided if the marriage ends in divorce.
Prenups can cover things like:
- How property like houses, cars, businesses, and investments will be divided
- Alimony/spousal support amounts
- What happens to inheritance or gifts received during the marriage
The key thing to know is that a prenup lets you decide these financial issues upfront versus leaving it up to state divorce laws down the road. For example, New York is an “equitable distribution” state which means marital property is divided fairly (but not always 50/50) in a divorce.
With a prenup, you can customize the division of assets based on what you and your spouse think is fair.
While prenups are commonly associated with the wealthy, they can benefit everyday couples in Brooklyn too. More on that next!
Top Benefits of a Prenup for Brooklyn Couples
Here are some of the biggest reasons everyday couples in Brooklyn have a lawyer draw up a prenup:
1. Define your finances upfront
Prenups allow you to think through how you’ll manage money during your marriage. This can help prevent fights down the road.
For example, you can agree to keep finances fully separate or partially separate. Or you may decide to fully combine finances. There’s no one right way – do what works best for your relationship!
2. Protect assets you bring into the marriage
A prenup allows you to protect assets you had before marriage like:
- Real estate
Without a prenup, these assets typically get divided equitably in a divorce under NY state law.
3. Support your children from a previous relationship
If you have kids from a prior relationship, a prenup can set aside assets to be passed down to them. This ensures an inheritance for your children even if you get divorced.
4. Avoid the time and expense of litigation
Prenups can minimize conflict if a divorce does happen. Your spouse will understand what to expect in terms of property division from the prenup. This can help avoid costly legal battles down the road.
5. Promote open communication
Creating a prenup requires open, honest financial conversations with your partner. This builds trust and sets a healthy precedent for how you’ll communicate about money during your marriage.
As you can see, prenups not only protect wealth – they can provide important peace of mind for everyday Brooklyn couples. Ready to learn more? Let’s look at common prenup terms.
Key Sections in a Prenuptial Agreement
Prenups range from simple to complex depending on each couple’s situation. Some common sections in a prenup include:
This provides documentation like tax returns and bank statements to give a clear picture of each person’s assets, income, and debts. Financial disclosures help ensure both parties agree to the prenup terms with full transparency.
Division of assets
This section states who will get what in case of a divorce. Assets may include things like:
- Bank accounts
- Retirement accounts
- Real estate
The prenup can state whether these assets stay separate vs. marital property to be divided.
Alimony and spousal support
New York recognizes four types of spousal support:
- Temporary maintenance: Support during the divorce process
- Permanent maintenance: Support after the divorce is finalized
- Durational maintenance: Support for a set duration after divorce
- Rehabilitative maintenance: Temporary support to become self-sufficient
The prenup can waive spousal support or dictate specific amounts and duration.
Inheritance and gifts
This section states who will retain ownership of any inheritance or gifts received during the marriage. The prenup can specify these assets stay separate property.
Your prenup can confirm your spouse will receive a certain share of your estate upon death. This provides financial protection for your surviving spouse.
As you can see, prenups can address a wide variety of financial matters. An experienced Brooklyn prenup lawyer will ensure all your concerns are addressed.
6 Key Things to Discuss with Your Prenup Lawyer
Drafting a customized prenup requires input from both you and your partner. Here are some important discussion topics to cover with your Brooklyn prenup attorney:
1. Financial situations
Provide details on assets, debts, income, and expenses so your lawyer understands your financial pictures. Be open about any concerns related to finances.
2. Future career or education plans
Let your lawyer know if you or your partner plan to change careers, go back to school, or leave the workforce. This can impact spousal support.
3. How to manage day-to-day finances
Discuss whether you’ll combine finances or keep them separate after marriage. Also address who will pay which expenses.
4. Estate planning wishes
Share how you would like assets passed to children or other beneficiaries in case of death or divorce.
5. Expected inheritances/gifts
Make your lawyer aware of any inheritances or substantial gifts you expect to receive during the marriage. These can often be excluded from division.
6. Deal breakers
Be upfront about any “must haves” for you in the agreement. For example, you may want to retain 100% ownership of a family business.
Addressing concerns early allows your lawyer to draft an agreement you both feel good about. Don’t hold back – this is your chance to customize your financial future.
Estimated Costs: What Does a Prenup Lawyer Cost?
The cost of a prenup depends on where you live and the complexity of your agreement. In Brooklyn, you can expect to pay:
- $2,000 to $5,000+ for a basic prenup
- $5,000 to $10,000+ for a complex prenup
Factors impacting the cost include:
- Whether real estate, businesses, or trusts are involved
- How many drafts and negotiations are needed
- Whether you have kids from a previous relationship
- If additional legal research is required
Some ways to reduce prenup costs include:
- Asking your families to cover legal fees as a wedding gift
- Seeing if your employer offers legal benefits
- Looking for lawyers who offer flat fee pricing
The money invested upfront can save much larger amounts in case of divorce. To get an accurate quote, meet with potential lawyers for a free consultation.
Step-by-Step Guide: How to Get a Prenup in Brooklyn
Follow these steps when creating your Brooklyn prenup:
1. Discuss the prenup with your partner
Have an open, honest talk about why you want a prenup and what terms are important to both of you. Address concerns transparently to start off on the same page.
2. Research Brooklyn prenup lawyers
Look for an attorney experienced specifically with prenups. Check reviews and ask about their credentials. Meet with a few lawyers before deciding.
3. Share key documents
Provide the lawyer with tax returns, bank statements, and documentation of assets. This allows them to understand your finances.
4. Review the initial draft
Your lawyer will create an initial prenup draft for you and your partner to review and discuss. This is the time to address any issues.
5. Negotiate the final agreement
You’ll go back and forth finalizing the prenup terms. Try to compromise and remain solution-focused if you hit any sticking points.
6. Sign with the required formalities
You’ll sign the final prenup with your partner before a notary. Some states also require witnesses.
7. Store copies securely
Keep a signed copy of your prenup in a safe place you can access if needed down the road. You may also give copies to your executor or trustee.
And remember – you can revise your Brooklyn prenup later on if your situation or goals change. We recommend reviewing your agreement every 2-3 years.