Long Island Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys
Protecting pre-marital assets and appreciating property in Nassau and Suffolk County
When people get married, they usually don’t think to protect themselves if the marriage ends. The reality is that over 50% of marriages end in divorce. People believe that prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are for couples who are untrustworthy or don’t believe in the lasting relationship they are about to embark on. This is not the case. They are for those who realistically need to protect pre-marital assets from unforeseen circumstance. Yes, divorce is prevalent and on the rise, but a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement does not necessarily kill the romance. It can actually make the relationship stronger. Some people believe that separating assets before the marriage takes the money out of the love the couple feels for each other. A prenuptial agreement is drafted before a marriage. A postnuptial agreement is drafted after a marriage. Whatever the case, it is smart to protect your assets from unexpected situations.
Separate property and marital property
Both those who live modestly to high net worth individuals have assets they should protect from unpredictable factors. When discussing divorce, one of the more contested topics is the equitable distribution of assets. New York is an equitable distribution state, meaning that they judge according to what is fair. There are two types of assets. Martial property is any asset brought into the marriage or acquired during the marriage. Separate property is more difficult to define and even further difficult to keep out of the marriage. Separate property is generally limited to the following characteristics:
- Asset attained prior to a marriage
- Inherited asset
- Gift from a third party
- Award from personal injury case
- Anything agreed to be separate through a written agreement
How separate property becomes marital property
Separate property can easily become marital property. Logically, a change of title to an asset into a joint title changes separate property into a marital asset. This is called transmutation. Separate property can become marital property without transmutation. When a property is “commingled”, the finances are muddled. It may be impossible to decipher what portion of the asset was originally separate. Lastly, there are cases where the appreciation of separate property can change to marital property. If the non-titled spouse contributed to the appreciation of a separate property, some or all of the appreciation may be considered marital property.
Prenuptial agreements explained
Prenuptial agreements are contracts drafted and signed before a marriage. They settle the couple’s affairs in the case of divorce, separation, or death. By law, these contracts may not have language related to any child custody or child support, as the court must act in the child’s best interests at the time of the legal matter. To draft a valid prenuptial agreement, it must:
- Be in writing
- Be executed voluntarily
- Include full disclosure at the time of the execution
- Be fair and just
- Be executed by both parties before a notary
Why are prenuptial and postnuptial agreements drafted?
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are prepared to address a wide variety of issues that protect separate property and detail what happens in the unfortunate case of divorce. They can include:
- Premarital property
- Premarital inheritance
- Appreciation of separate property
Furthermore, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can be drafted to address issues like real estate, business, and debts. Sometimes, couples want to detail what happens in certain situations. They can include:
- Fidelity clauses
- Spousal maintenance clauses
- Marital real estate clauses
Contact our Long Island attorneys with your best interests in mind
If you are soon to be married or already took vows, you may have already thought about ways to protect your assets. Contact the Long Island divorce attorneys at The Pollack Law Firm, P.C. to discuss your options. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may be the right decision for you. Don’t let the preconceived notion about prenuptial agreements deter you from protecting your assets. Our Long Island law firm is here to assist you in your legal matter. Our consultations are discrete and confidential. Our attorneys are available to review your case and help you arrive at the best decision for your situation. The Pollack Law Firm, P.C. is here to serve.