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Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
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Last Updated on: 1st August 2023, 12:40 am
Getting married in New York City? Congratulations! The Big Apple is one of the most romantic places to tie the knot.
But before you walk down the aisle, you need to think practically about what could happen if “until death do us part” comes sooner than you expected. This is where prenuptial agreements come in.
Also known as prenups, these legally binding contracts protect both spouses’ assets and interests in case of divorce. Work with an experienced NYC prenup lawyer to draft an agreement that’s fair to both of you.
Here’s everything you need to know about prenups and how to find the best prenup attorney in New York City.
New York recognizes “equitable distribution” for dividing marital assets during divorce. This means assets acquired during the marriage are split fairly between spouses.
But what about assets you brought into the marriage – family inheritance, real estate, business holdings, intellectual property, stock options? Without a prenup, these could be up for grabs.
For wealthy New Yorkers with substantial assets, prenups are crucial. But they benefit average folks too. You want to protect gifts from family, earnings from before the marriage, retirement accounts, and other property.
Prenups also let you decide who gets the dog or cat in case of divorce. And they can dictate spousal support payments. Basically, prenups give you more control if the marriage ends.
Prenup laws are complex, so working with a seasoned New York prenup lawyer is key. Here are some tips for finding the best attorney:
– Search for lawyers who specialize in prenups and family law, not general practitioners.
– Look for attorneys with at least 5-7 years of experience drafting prenups. This shows expertise.
– Read online reviews from past clients to gauge lawyers’ skills, responsiveness and professionalism.
– Find someone who explains state prenup laws in plain English, not confusing legalese.
– Seek attorneys who take time to understand your concerns and goals. You want personalized service.
– Ask about fees upfront. Top lawyers charge $5,000+ but it’s worth it for a rock-solid agreement.
– Meet potential lawyers in person if possible to get a sense of their style and approach.
The right prenup lawyer will handle this complex process from start to finish, including:
– **Guiding open discussion** – They’ll facilitate constructive talks between you and your fiancé about finances, property, inheritance and other topics to cover in the prenup.
– **Researching state laws** – They’ll advise you on New York legal standards regarding prenups and potential issues down the road.
– **Drafting agreement terms** – Based on your unique situation and concerns, they’ll draw up proposed contract terms you’re both comfortable with.
– **Negotiating** – If you and your partner disagree on certain provisions, they can negotiate compromise language you both can accept.
– **Finalizing paperwork** – They’ll ensure the agreement complies with state laws and have you sign the documents.
– **Filing prenup** – They will file the agreement with the county clerk’s office to make it legally binding under New York law.
Bottom line – a knowledgeable NYC prenup attorney protects your interests while avoiding problems that could invalidate the agreement later.
Here are some of the most important sections to think about including in your New York prenup:
#### Financial Disclosures
– **Asset schedules** – You must attach statements fully disclosing all assets, debts, income and expenses. This proves you both entered the prenup voluntarily with full knowledge of each other’s finances.
#### Property Division Terms
– **Separate vs. marital property** – Define what assets you each enter the marriage with as “separate property” excluded from distribution in case of divorce. Income earned and assets acquired during marriage are generally considered “marital property.”
– **Inheritances and gifts** – Include provisions confirming that any inheritances and gifts received during the marriage remain separate property.
– **Appreciation of separate property** – Specify whether appreciation in value of separate property during the marriage belongs to the original owner or is considered marital property.
– **Pensions and retirement accounts** – State whether you want to waive rights to each other’s work-related retirement benefits like 401(k)s.
#### Alimony and Support
– **Spousal support waiver** – You can opt to waive rights to both temporary and permanent alimony in case of separation or divorce. Courts still have discretion here though.
– **Life insurance -** Require one or both spouses to maintain life insurance policies as an income source in lieu of alimony if one partner dies or to provide for children.
To avoid challenges to enforceability, your prenup must adhere to New York statutes and case law precedent. Here are some key tips:
– **Disclosure** – Fully disclose all assets, income, debts and liabilities upfront in attached schedules, as mentioned earlier. Lack of transparency risks invalidating the agreement.
– **Independent counsel** – Both partners must retain separate lawyers to review the agreement and advise them on their rights. Judges want to see informed consent.
– **Time before wedding** – Sign the prenup at least 30 days before the marriage ceremony so judges don’t see it as signing under duress.
– **Not unconscionable** – Terms can’t be grossly unfair or one-sided toward either spouse or judges may find the agreement “unconscionable.”
Ideally, you should contact prenup attorneys 6-8 months before your wedding. Why so early?
– It takes time to find the best lawyer, get to know each other, discuss your situation comprehensively, negotiate terms agreeable to both you and your partner, draft the agreement properly and sign with enough time before “I dos.”
– If you have complex assets and debts, the process takes even longer.
– You don’t want to tarnish the excitement of your engagement period with tense last-minute talks.
That said, it’s better to get a prenup done even a month or two before the wedding than not at all. So don’t delay – call a seasoned NYC prenup lawyer right away!
Marriage is about love, but divorce is about money. Prenups empower you to avoid ugly battles if you split up. The right attorney provides legal expertise while keeping your relationship priorities front and center.
For personalized guidance from an experienced NYC prenup lawyer, contact Spodek Law Group at (212) 300-5196. Protect yourself, your partner and your hard-earned assets.
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