A prenuptial agreement, usually simply called a “prenup” is a legally binding agreement made by two people who are about to enter into matrimony. The agreement provides for a pre-agreed upon distribution of all the assets in the event the marriage ends in divorce. Once a couple are married they can also enter into a postnuptial agreement should they wish. Domestic partners cannot have a prenup agreement on Long Island but they can have a cohabitation agreement which does basically the same job.
Most prenups have what is called a “sunset” clause, this is a clause in the agreement that terminates the agreement after a certain number of years or once children are born. As circumstances change, especially after the birth of a child a couple may enter into a postnup agreement that takes into account such things as child support, visitation, etc.
For a prenup to be legal it must meet certain tests. The agreement must be in writing, verbal agreements are not valid, the agreement must be voluntary on the part of both signatories and it must be signed in the presence of a notary public. The agreement can be invalidated if one of the parties fails to disclose important information or marries under false pretenses and finally, the agreement must be morally and ethically conscionable.
A prenup agreement can be repugnant to some people as it allows for the possibility of divorce and even takes into account what will happen in the event of a divorce. In some religions marriages are seen as a lifetime commitment between a man and a woman and they see a prenup as a contradiction to the teaching of the church.
When a couple who have significant personal assets are about to marry a prenup may make a great of sense as it allows the parties to keep their assets in the event of dissolution of their marriage. Many people who have children from a previous relationship often wish to protect their assets for their children, among the wealthy, a prenup is fairly standard.
Depending on what is written into the prenup agreement on Long Island there may be cases where the agreement is challenged during a divorce. Circumstances can and do change which may result in different allocations of child and spousal support if the marriage ends in divorce. Lawyers who are seasoned at preparing prenups attempt to make them air tight for their clients.
If you and your future spouse each have significant assets it may be wise to consider a prenup agreement on Long Island to protect those assets in the event the marriage fails. Jaspan Schlesinger LLP is a full service law firm and will help you in this matter.
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