Negotiating a pre-nuptial agreement may not be the most romantic activity an engaged couple shares in, but for individuals with significant assets, it is a realistic and necessary precaution. You carry insurance for all the valuable assets you hold: auto, home, health and life. A pre-marital arrangement is nothing more than marriage insurance. Jean M. Mahserjian, Esq., P.C. can help ensure that your assets are protected in the unfortunate case of a future divorce.
As an “equitable distribution” state, New York assumes that whatever wealth or debt you bring to the marriage is “separate property,” and all assets earned and debt incurred during the marriage is “marital property.” Should you divorce, marital assets and debt will be divided in a manner the Court views as “fair.”
A pre-marital agreement can assist in two regards. First, the agreement can definitively designate what property is separate. An accurate catalog of assets can be very useful later, especially if divorce proceedings become contentious. Second, a prenuptial agreement can explicitly waive the right to equitable distribution, and state alternatively what marital assets the parties to the marriage are to receive and for what debt each will be responsible. The pre-nup can even set a time limit and dollar amount for spousal maintenance.
While a pre-marital agreement can set certain terms in anticipation of divorce, it cannot define the parameters of child custody, child support or visitation. Those will be decided by the court during the divorce proceedings on the basis of “the best interests of the child(ren).”
Jean M. Mahserjian, Esq., P.C. can draft prenuptial agreements to meet your needs, and thoroughly review any agreements your prospective spouse has asked you to sign. In either case, our Albany family law attorneys can provide you with a detailed explanation of the consequences of the agreement to you and your spouse so you can make a fully informed decision about how to proceed. We can also negotiate terms that protect your rights and interests. While we can’t decide for you whether to sign an agreement, we can ensure that you will know exactly what you’re signing, and have full knowledge of the potential benefits and drawbacks.
To speak with a Saratoga County family law attorney at Jean M. Mahserjian, Esq., P.C., call us at 518.383.1182. We will be happy to answer your questions and schedule an initial appointment at our Clifton Park office. You can also schedule an appointment by contacting us online.