Despite the misinformation concerning prenups, prenuptial agreements are advantageous for couples of any age or income bracket. If you and/or your partner are wondering if a prenup can benefit you, the answer is a resounding, “yes.” Below, we discuss the specific benefits as well as what makes a prenup enforceable.
Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement for Couples
While prenups often “get a bad rap,” they are meant to protect both parties entering into the agreement. The pros of a prenuptial agreement, for both partners, include:
- Protecting your future financial stability. In your agreement, you and your partner can include details about how assets acquired during your marriage will be divided. Agreeing on what qualifies as separate and marital property can ensure there is a fair distribution of assets, protect family heirlooms and inheritances, and discuss how you intend to handle alimony. You can also shield yourself from taking on one another’s debts in the event of a divorce.
- Protecting your business. If you are a business owner or have interests in one, you can ensure your business is included in separate property. In the event of a divorce, you won’t have to worry about losing full ownership or interest in your business. In some cases, your business associates may require you to have a prenup for this very reason.
- Engaging in open, honest communication. You and your partner will likely discuss your spending habits, future financial plans, debts, and more. While these are difficult topics to discuss, having tough conversations now can help improve your relationship and communication with one another for years down the road.
- Reducing future conflict. In the event of a divorce, you can both cut down on the emotional and financial strain often associated with dissolving a marriage. You will already have worked out most of the details involved in your divorce, which makes for less disagreements, negotiations, and the like.
The Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act
As mentioned, a prenup is meant to benefit both parties involved. Nearly a decade ago, the Uniform Commission established the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act, which is meant to help all states adopt specific laws and protections for prenuptial agreements.
New York is one of the states that has not adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. However, for a prenup to be enforceable, the courts will still expect the agreement to be:
- Fair in relation to how the terms of the agreement affect both parties
- Made when both parties are of sound mind (and not under duress or coercion)
- Signed after both parties had sufficient time to review the agreement
- Signed after both parties were adequately informed about each other’s finances when they drafted the agreement
Discussing a Prenuptial Agreement with Your Partner
If you want to draft a prenuptial agreement, you might be wondering how to broach the subject with your partner. Here are a few things to consider as you enter the conversation.
- Consider when and where to have the discussion. While you don’t need to schedule a meeting for the conversation, you shouldn’t catch your partner off guard. You should also be mindful of the headspace you are both in. If you just had a disagreement or a particularly rough day at work, the timing may be off. Considering where you talk is also important, as you likely want to speak in private.
- Think about what you will say. As we’ve discussed, prenups can help your relationship and can protect you both. Mentioning specific benefits and why you want a prenup can help to clarify things for your partner.
- Remember how much you love each other. While some people believe that prenups doom a relationship, that isn’t the case. Remind your partner how much you love them and keep your love at the forefront of your discussion.
Contact Our Attorneys
At Letterio & Haug, LLP, we work tirelessly to provide our clients with individualized legal care. We can work with you and your partner to:
- Draft an enforceable prenuptial agreement
- Ensure your prenup includes conditions that protect both parties
- Update the terms of your prenup as your circumstances change
- Answer any questions you have concerning your agreement