If you are wealthy, or if your fiancé is, one or both of you may be inclined to draw up a prenuptial agreement. In Nassau and Suffolk counties, prenuptial agreements are more common than in some other parts of the country due to the degree of wealth in these areas.
The fact that prenuptial agreements are more common in our parts makes our job as family law attorneys easier, because there is less convincing to do. Even still, some fiancés are more traditional and have trouble seeing the purpose in having a prenup. Some people find prenups unromantic, but they don't have to be perceived that way.
On the surface, prenuptial agreements may indicate a lack of trust or faith that the marriage will last, but that is hardly the case. As divorce attorneys, we can attest that prenups are not what lead couples straight to divorce court. Rather, people divorce for other reasons, such as:
- Financial problems
- Domestic violence
- They grew apart
- Differences on childrearing
- Substance abuse
- Gambling addiction
In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, there is a lot less clarity in the event of a divorce. If the couple cannot reach an agreement on property division, a judge will decide for them based on New York's laws of equitable distribution.
Under the laws of equitable distribution, judges divided marital property in a way that they seem just and fair; equitable does not necessarily mean equal. So, judges have a lot of discretion when it comes to dividing a couple's property in a divorce. In other words, if a couple cannot reach a marital settlement agreement, they relinquish all control and hand it over to the judge.
Prenups Are Insurance for Married Couples
You don't plan on dying anytime soon, but that doesn't stop you from getting life insurance. You're a good driver, but the state still requires that you carry auto insurance. You don't expect a hurricane to flood out your basement, but you carry insurance just in case.
Prenuptial agreements are no different. You certainly don't expect to get divorced, but if you do, you know what to expect financially; you've removed the mystery and maintained control over the distribution of your marital assets – giving you peace of mind, which is priceless.
Prenups are not just for wealthy spouses, they can protect the lower-earning spouse as well. To learn more, contact
Jason M. Barbara & Associates, PC for a free consultation!