A premarital agreement is a written contract between two people who intend to get married. The agreement is made in contemplation of marriage. This means it becomes the contract becomes valid and enforceable after the marriage takes place. In New York City, prenuptial agreement laws are outlined under GOB 3-303.
The Types of Issues a NYC Prenuptial Agreement Addresses
A prenuptial agreement seeks to resolve many agreements that can become highly contentious during a divorce. Defining property is one issue that can cause problems during a divorce. Property can be actual things such as an apartment building or car collection. It can also be assets and money.
New York considers two types of property in a divorce: separate and marital property. Separate property is any type of asset or property that a future spouse owns prior to marriage. These assets and property aren’t shared during marriage.
Marital property is any asset or property obtained during the marriage. This means that the couple equally owns the property. Since each spouse owns the property, it will have to be distributed between. This is called division of property.
Future spouses can defined what is separate property and marital property in a prenuptial agreement. They can also defined who receives marital property if they divorce. For example, they can decide if they divorce, then one spouse will receive the house and the other will receive the furnishings in the house.
Spousal spousal support is another issue resolved in a prenuptial agreement. Spousal support, also called spousal maintenance, is money paid by a spouse to their spouse during or after a divorce. It establishes that the spouse paying the support is financial responsible for the ex-spouse on a temporary or permanent basis. The future spouses can determine if spouse support will be paid and which spouse will receive it.
Child support is another highly contentious issue in a divorce. New York law allows for a future couple to make custody arrangements for children who are from a previous relationship. For example, one future spouse has three children from another marriage. She and her future spouse can decide if he will have regular visits with her child if they divorce.
A future married couple with no children can decide a child custody arrangement in their prenuptial agreement. However, family court will make the final decision on child custody arrangements. A family court judge may take a look at the prenuptial agreement to determine if it is in the best interest of the child. All child custody arrangements in New York City are made based on what’s in the best interest of the child.
Understand Challenges to a Prenuptial Agreement
In New York City, all prenuptial agreements must be valid. This means they must follow the laws of the state so they can be enforced. If the laws aren’t followed, then a prenuptial agreement is useless.
Fraud will invalidate a prenuptial agreement. Fraud means that a future spouse intentionally deceived their partner when negotiating the agreement. This can occur when a future spouse doesn’t properly disclose all their assets. New York law requires each future spouse inform their partner about all property, money and other assets they own during the prenuptial agreement.
Coercion or duress can’t be part of the negotiation process. Coercion in a prenuptial agreement means that one future spouse was talked into or somehow forced to agree to draft an agreement or some issue in the agreement. Each future spouse must enter into the agreement freely.
All agreements must be fair to both parties. This means one spouse can’t have everything when dividing marital property. An unequal prenuptial agreement is invalid.
Future spouses enter into a lot of contracts when they get plan to get married such as hiring a photographer or minister to perform their wedding. Another important contract is a prenuptial agreement. This contract is essential to understanding the rights and responsibilities each spouse will have during their marriage and if they divorce.
A prenuptial agreement doesn’t mean future spouses don’t love each other or they need an insurance policy. It means that they were willing to figure out the not-so-romantic issues so they can focus on romance for the rest of their lives together.
Since each future spouse must be represented by a lawyer to keep the prenuptial agreement valid, contact us. We represent prospective spouses who need advice and legal representation when drafting and signing a prenuptial agreement.
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