Prenuptial Agreements and Postnuptial agreements can save Long Islanders a great deal of stress in the event of a divorce or breakup. A divorce and breakup represents one of the most difficult times in a Long Islander’s life. These events cut at the core of one’s life and family relationships. To exacerbate the emotional component of divorce, the financial aspect of divorce only makes things worse. Splitting the assets and determining who keeps the money and property creates tremendous stress on all parties. For this reason, many Long Island divorce attorneys will recommend a prenuptial or even postnuptial agreement that addresses these issues ahead of time.
Marital Agreements are Better Made with a Clear Head
Usually, the decisions that are made at the time a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is created is significantly more favorable and fair to both parties that what each spouse will argue for in the event a divorce occurs without an agreement. This is likely because, before marriage, most people are feeling happy, generous, and compassionate, as opposed to the time of the divorce, when people are often bitter, resentful and angry. The latter results in far more contentious discussions as to who gets what. Further, having the terms in place beforehand can significantly reduce the time and expense that can be incurred as a result of lengthy divorce litigation.
Consider Marital Agreements if you Have Significant Wealth or Expect your Wealth to Grow
Even though we all have heard about the statistics on divorce, many young couples do not think twice about preparing a prenuptial agreement. This is most often because divorce is the last thing on their minds, although some may just be hesitant or unsure about broaching the subject with their partner. This kind of couple would be wise to consider a postnuptial agreement later on, once they are married and perhaps see their assets begin to accumulate or their situation begin to change.
With that being said, these agreements are commonly being used by wealthier individuals as there are more assets at stake. In some cases, a young couple has few assets when they first marry and choose not to enter into a prenuptial agreement. Later on, after they marry, their assets may grow or they may receive or expect to receive an inheritance or significant growth in assets. At this point is when many couples choose to enter into a postnuptial agreement to protect themselves and their interests in the case of divorce.
Unique Circumstances Often Call for a Marital Agreement
Your unique family circumstances might indicate that a pre or postnuptial agreement is more necessary. This is because the laws on equitable distribution and spousal maintenance may not be well suited for your particular situation. For example, a postnuptial agreement may be a good idea when one spouse needs to stay at home to care for children and wants to protect his or her financial interests. In addition, when one or both spouses start a new business, it may be a good idea to create a postnuptial agreement (or update an existing prenuptial agreement). Further, couples who have had prior marriages and/or children from prior relationships may wish to make special provisions for those children or for certain assets that they brought into the new relationship. Estate planning considerations such as who will inherit what from each spouse can be included in the contract as well.
It is important to remember that there are certain issues that these agreements cannot dictate, including controlling a spouse’s behavior (with the exception confidentiality clauses), and cannot attempt to disinherit or cut off a spouse completely. Discuss your unique concerns with your family law attorney in order to see if your prenuptial agreement can be tailored to your needs.
Ensure you Have Skilled Representation
Since marital agreements must be formed with full disclosure of finances and assets on both sides, and must be created without any undue influence or coercion to be valid, it is best to enlist an experienced Matrimonial Law Attorney to assist you. Keep in mind that the event one party has an attorney and another does not, the validity of the agreement can sometimes be called into question. Each spouse should speak to an experienced Long Island family law attorney in order to ensure his or her interests are being protected and that your agreement is valid.
Free Consultation With a Long Island Family Law Attorney Experienced in Prenuptial Agreements
Valid prenuptial and postnuptial agreements require qualified and experienced Family Law or Divorce Law representation. If you have a question about the possibility of creating a pre- or post-nuptial agreement, or if you have questions about your existing agreement, you should speak to a qualified Long Island Divorce Attorney about the possibility of a confidentiality or nondisclosure agreement that would address your concerns. The Long Island Family Law firm of Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., P.C. has successfully served families in Nassau County and Suffolk County for years. The firm focuses on Divorce, Mediation, and Family Law matters including Child Custody, Visitation, and Support. Contact our office today at 631-923-1910 for a free consultation.
Download our Free New York Divorce Guide
Our 41-page “Guide to New York Divorce: What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Divorce Lawyer in New York” written by an experienced family law lawyer, Long Island’s Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., provides you with real information on the divorce process and the laws it rests upon in the state of New York. This book will help give you a solid foundation upon which you can begin the process of making your family’s, life better. Download your Free Guide to New York Divorce here.