Prenuptial and Postnuprial agreements explained by a top Brooklyn prenup lawyer Arkady Bukh
A well-drafted prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can help protect the rights and interests of both you and your significant other. Entering into such an agreement does not have to be contentious and should be a collaborative process that strengthens your relationship rather than damaging it.
With the assistance of an experienced Brooklyn prenup lawyer, these agreements can be practical and focused on preventing future disputes or difficulties in your marriage.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement contains a set of rules that will govern the division of property, debts, income and expenses if a dissolution of the marriage occurs some time in the future. Unfortunately, there is a negative stigma associated with prenups. Some people think that if a prenup is needed, it means your marriage is doomed and it is only a matter of time before you get divorced.
This is not accurate at all. A prenuptial agreement can, and should, strengthen your relationship and simply sets forth an understanding of how property will be divided in the event of a permanent separation.
Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement allows you to protect your property and enables each of you to protect each other from debts (specifically, those incurred before the marriage and those incurred after). And it may allow them to determine what level of support one of them will provide to the other if they divorce or if one of them passes away.
Kings County (Brooklyn) prenuptial agreements can also address situations in which one partner leaves a secure and fulfilling job to live with a geographically distant spouse. If the marriage doesn’t work out, is it fair to just send the relocating spouse back home with nothing? Many people would say not. A prenuptial agreement is a good way to provide for that.
On the other hand, a prenuptial agreement also allows the spouses to agree that everything they own and everything they owe will automatically become shared from their wedding day forward, or gradually as they stay married over a period of years. The flexibility of the prenuptial agreement is its main selling point.
Important Differences Between Prenuptial Agreements and Marital Agreements
Premarital agreements are not the same as “marital agreements” or “marital settlement agreements”. Marital agreements are agreements made between two people during marriage. Marital settlement agreements are agreements made between two married people after a petition for dissolution of marriage has been filed and in anticipation of a judgment of dissolution. While the subject matter may the same, significantly different rules apply.
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The motivation of someone seeking a prenuptial agreement usually falls into one of two categories:
- the spouse with assets wants his or her separate property assets protected in the event of a divorce; or
- the spouse who holds few, if any, assets is giving up a career to stay home and raise a family and, thus, wants to be financially compensated for the loss of his or her career.
Overview of Postnuptial Agreements
In addition to prenuptial agreements, it is possible to enter into a postnuptial agreement. This is an agreement entered into between a married couple. According to New York DRL §236B(3), a postnuptial agreement enables a married couple to set forth rules and protocols concerning the following issues:
- Defining testamentary provisions (i.e. the provisions in a Last Will and Testament) or a waiving the right to challenge the provisions of your Last Will and Testament;
- Protocols concerning the care, custody, education, and welfare of their children;
- An agreement concerning the ownership, division, and/or distribution of separate property and/or marital property; and
- Provisions concerning the amount and duration of spousal support (aka alimony).
It is also worth noting that there are a number of compromises and modifications that can be made in preparing a postnuptial agreement. You, or your spouse, could be offended by a request for this type of agreement for a myriad of reasons. Because of this, you may face opposition in securing important legal protection of your assets.
This may require negotiating with your spouse to provide a more favorable agreement concerning spousal support. For example, you could include a provision that states, in the case of a divorce, your assets will not be pursued in exchange for permanent support payments of a specific period of time.
No Matter the Type of Agreement You Need, the Bukh Law Firm Can Help
The Bukh Law Firm is experienced in handling an array of domestic issues, including the drafting of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Our legal team understands the rules and regulations associated with the New York court system. Our firm is unique because we are not simply a group of attorneys, paralegals and legal consultants.
We are actually a team of skilled and savvy legal professionals focused on meeting the unique and specific needs of our clients. The Bukh Law Firm stands ready to serve clients in Brooklyn, NY.