Prenuptial Agreements
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Helping New York Clients Protect Assets And Property In A Divorce

husband signing divorce agreement and woman push away weeding ring

Protecting assets from an unknown future seems alien to many people who just proposed to their loved one. The fact is that over 50 percent of marriage end in divorce. When people consider prenuptials and postnuptial agreements only for the untrusting and untrustworthy, they are doing themselves a serious disservice. When you take the money out of the equation, a couple can focus on the lasting relationship they are about to embark on. It is important to protect assets from an unknown future. A prenuptial agreement is drafted and employed before the marriage begins. A postnuptial agreement is drafted and employed during the marriage. They are the same document, just implemented at different times. If you need a law firm to protect your assets and rights, contact Penichet & Alberga LLP.

Separate or marital property?

Clients who range from the modest living to the high net worth individuals have assets that they should protect from future factors. If a couple was to go to court over a contested divorce based on property distribution, New York will divide assets in an equitable manner. This means that they will allocate assets in a way they deem fair and just to both parties. This often does not follow the wishes of one party, usually the one that originally held the assets before the marriage. The court will first have to decipher between marital and separate property. Any assets brought into the marriage or acquired during the marriage, with a few exceptions, will be considered marital. Though some of your assets may be separate at the time you were married, they can easily transfer to marital property throughout the relationship. For example, if you owned a home and you and your spouse fixed it up with commingled finances, it complicates the matter and your spouse may be entitled to some of the value of that asset. If a property or asset appreciated in value during the marriage, that appreciation may be a marital asset.

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements

Simply put, a prenuptial agreement is a contract drafted and signed before a marriage. A postnuptial agreement is drafted and signed during the marriage. These contracts may not have anything related to child custody, child visitation, or child support as the court must act in the best interests of the child at all times. In order for these agreements to be enforceable, they must be in writing, executed voluntarily, include a full financial disclosure at the time of the execution, fair and just, and executed by both parties before a notary. They can cover a range of issues that detail what will happen in the case of death or divorce. Furthermore, they may include clauses that address what will happen after instances of infidelity and other issues.

Contact a Westchester County law firm with experience

Prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements are great tools to protect your assets from the unknown. Penichet & Alberga LLP has years of experience guiding couples through prenuptial and postnuptial agreements that have our clients best interests met and will satisfy the legal standards of the court. If you wish to know more about the process or need to draft one of these agreements, contact us by email or call 914-806-6675 for a consultation.