Before tying the knot, many people choose to visit a New York prenuptial agreement lawyer to draft a legal document that protects their premarital assets. However, very few know what to include in the prenup agreement. Without setting out all the pertinent aspects, you may find yourself with insufficient protection in case of divorce.
Here is what a good prenup should include.
1. A Clear List of Premarital Assets Each Spouse Will Keep as Separate Property
Most clients list real estate property, bank accounts, and cars on their prenup, but forget about small, but valuable assets. Jewelry, artwork, and other similar items must be specified in the prenuptial agreement.
Otherwise, unless you can prove ownership before getting married, they may be treated as marital property and subject to division under New York equitable distribution law.
2. The Requirement that Premarital Debt Will Not Be Paid Out of the Joint Account
A survey conducted by a bank on financial issues in couples found that Millennials tend to keep a lot of secrets from their partners. Thus:
- 43% have undisclosed credit card debt
- 17% have a secret bank account
- 10% have unpaid student loans.
These secrets can cause significant tensions in marriage and lead to one of the partners being burdened with the other’s premarital debt. To avoid this issue, both prospective spouses should declare their debts in the prenup.
Also, the agreement must contain a clause stating that premarital debt will not be paid out of the couple’s joint account.
3. Provisions for Protecting Premarital Wealth
A New York prenuptial agreement attorney knows that there are many cases when one of the partners is significantly wealthier than the other. This means that, without a prenup, they could stand to lose an unfair part of their wealth in case of divorce.
An experienced lawyer will prepare a document that includes all the assets owned by each party, which will not be subject to equitable distribution. In this way, only a portion of the wealth accumulated during the marriage will be split between the spouses during a divorce.
4. Provisions for Children from Previous Relationships
Many people have children from a previous marriage or cohabitation. In this case, they want to make sure that their children are properly provided for in case of a new divorce.
Thus, the prenup will specify the financial arrangements for the children and any assets that are held to be passed to them. In this way, the respective property will not be subject to division.
5. Provisions for Spousal Support
The prenup should also cover the matter of spousal support in case of divorce, including:
- Who will be responsible for paying spousal support to the other partner
- The amount of this support
- How long spousal support will be paid.
6. Provisions for Pet Custody
People become very attached to their pets. Thus, in case of divorce, the battle for pet custody can be financially and emotionally draining. To avoid these issues, the prenup can set out who gets to keep the pet in case of divorce.
What Cannot Be Legally Included in a Prenup?
A prenuptial agreement cannot determine child custody. Also, it cannot limit in any way the amount payable in child support. These are matters determined by the court keeping in mind the best interests of the child.
Let an Experienced New York Lawyer Protect Your Interests!
Step into your new life as a married couple with the confidence that your personal property is protected by a legal document. Before saying “I do,” talk to an experienced New York prenuptial agreement attorney.
Do not wait any longer! Call us now at 914-615-9058 and schedule an initial appointment!