New York Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
In New York, a Prenuptial Agreement is a contract entered into between two prospective spouses in contemplation of marriage. The primary purpose of a Prenuptial Agreement is to resolve, in advance of marriage, the allocation of marital and separate property in the event of a divorce. Other financial issues such as allocation of debt and/or spousal support, may also be addressed in a Prenuptial Agreement. An important exception to the issues which can be resolved in a New York Prenuptial Agreement is that of child custody and support.
Prenuptial Agreements are recognized and valid in New York State. An important component to negotiating a Prenuptial Agreement is proper financial disclosure. A Prenuptial Agreement in New York contemplates that the parties are entering into marriage with his/her own separate property and earning capacity. Knowing the financial profile of the other, enables both parties to intelligently fashion a mutually agreed upon future financial allocation in the event that the marriage fails. Such disclosure also promotes greater detail to be incorporated into the agreement, which helps avoid future confusion and disagreements between the parties regarding financial issues.
Both parties to the Prenuptial Agreement should have legal counsel and the prenuptial agreement should not be executed too close to the wedding in order to minimize problems with the enforcement of the agreement.
In New York, a Postnuptial Agreement is a contract entered into between two spouses after marriage. The only appreciable difference between a Postnuptial Agreement and a Prenuptial Agreement is that of timing. It is, in all respects, a binding, enforceable agreement.
Both Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements help avoid the expense and turmoil of litigating future financial issues such as equitable distribution and spousal support. Instead, both parties predetermine select financial issues, in good faith, absent the animosity and pressure so sadly inherent to divorce proceedings. Both parties also have a clear understanding as to where they stand, financially, in the unfortunate event the marriage ends.
In short, these agreements offer the parties the ability to control his or her own destiny, and do not leave the determination in the hands of a court.
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