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Top 10 Checklist for Your Long Island Prenuptial Agreement

by | Jun 8, 2021 | divorce, News and Events

It’s more important than ever to consider having a prenuptial agreement in place before entering into the legal contract known as marriage. While it’s great to think that your marriage will be a romantic adventure where you will both live happily every after, we don’t have to call up statistics to know that this isn’t always the case. With more couples marrying later in life when they may have more financial assets before the union, it’s important to discuss the protections a prenup can afford you with an experienced Long Island divorce lawyer prior to entering your marriage.

Here’s a checklist of top 10 things you want to be sure your prenuptial agreement will cover.  

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1. Accounting for Debts and Assets 

Your prenuptial agreement should clearly list the debts and assets of both parties entering into the marriage and to whom they belong. You can create a plan to pay off your debts using separate or marital funds, however, if you divorce, you will unlikely be able to recover any funds you paid toward your spouse’s debts during the marriage, even if they were your separate funds. 

2. Management of Income and Assets of the Household

Consider naming one spouse to manage or oversee the collection and allocation of income and assets accumulated during the marriage. Often, this task is left to the higher earning spouse, or you can create a joint agreement where you and your spouse are both equally responsible for accumulating, investing, and managing your marital assets

3. Management of Credit for the Household

Similarly, you may want to name one spouse to manage lines of credit, loans, credit cards, and your overall credit scores to ensure you maintain good credit throughout your marriage. If you’d prefer to manage it together, consider adding a stipulation to your prenuptial agreement that you both must be on board before opening any new lines of credit or incurring debt of any kind. 

4. Non-Monetary Contributions to the Marriage

Discuss the worth of non-monetary contributions to the marital household, especially if you and your spouse plan to have children together. For example, if one spouse stays at home to care for the children and complete household duties while the other pursues a career, how will the spouse be compensated for these non-monetary contributions? 

Making things like this clear in your prenuptial agreement can help you avoid confusion and headaches later on if you decide to get a divorce. 

5. Alimony or Spousal Support in the Event of Divorce

You have the opportunity to decide ahead of time what alimony or spousal support will look like for you in the event that you are divorce sometime in the future. Who will pay who and how much? Will there be any limitations or caps on how much alimony can be awarded? A prenup can work for both parties by ensuring the lesser earning spouse would get enough support after a divorce while avoiding unfair overpayment from the higher earning spouse. 

6. Who Pays the Taxes on Separate Property

Your prenuptial agreement should also include who is responsible for paying taxes on separate property. For example, if your spouse owns a vehicle solely in their name, make sure your prenup has a clause that states they are responsible for paying the property taxes, licensing fees, insurance, and other costs associated with registration of the vehicle. 

Or, you may consider including a clause about splitting tax refunds equally, or alternating who gets to claim the children as dependents on their taxes each year. An experienced Long Island divorce lawyer can assist you with determining what should be included in your prenup with regard to paying taxes and getting tax refunds.  

7. Gifts as Separate Property

Make sure your prenup documents any gifts you received personally as separate property to prevent your spouse from having claim to them in the event of a divorce. 

8. Education Expenses

If you or your spouse are seeking an education at the time of your marriage, your prenuptial agreement should document who is responsible for the costs of education and compensation for the spouse working and/or taking care of the home while the other goes to school. 

9. Disability or Death 

Although no one likes to think about the possibility of becoming disabled or the eventuality of their death, these are important things to have contingency plans for in your New York prenup. 

If you become disabled and are unable to care for yourself, how will your assets be transferred to your spouse? If you pass away, what does and doesn’t go to your spouse in terms of assets, heirlooms, etc. Having this decided in your prenup already keeps it from becoming an issue later when you least expect it. 

10. Duration of Your Prenuptial Agreement

Your prenuptial agreement should always include a clause regarding its duration. Perhaps you’d like the prenup to expire after 10 years, after which you would reevaluate your financial situation and ideally negotiate a new postnuptial agreement

Or, you may want the prenuptial agreement to stay intact for the life of the marriage. Make sure your intention regarding the length of the agreement is clearly stated and easily understandable. 

Get Help with Your Long Island Prenuptial Agreement Today 

Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. offers document review services, including the review, drafting, and finalization of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Call today for your consultation at 631-923-1910 or fill out the short form on this page and we’ll get right back to you.


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