Prenuptial agreements have become an important standard part of many marriage contracts across the country, including some in New York. These accords not only can protect couples who have considerable assets at stake but also offer some measure of protection to couples of more modest means. Even though raising the idea of a prenuptial agreement while dating may be unsettling, it is a discussion worth having because it can protect both parties' assets in case the marriage fails.
A prenuptial agreement serves many purposes. Many wealthy people use them as safeguards against the vagaries of divorce. A recent example was the invocation of a prenuptial in the divorce proceedings of oil billionaire Harold Hamm. So far, the prenup has limited Hamm's payout to his ex-wife to $1 billion.
Increasingly, too, high-wage-earning wives who own considerable property are using prenups to protect what they have in the event they divorce. In addition, there is no guarantee that one spouse's earnings will remain the same throughout the marriage; in many cases, one spouse ends up earning more than the other, so both parties may want to protect what they have. A prenuptial agreement can also determine how certain contentious issues such as alimony will be settled.
Drawing up a legally enforceable prenuptial agreement should be entrusted to experienced attorneys. The lawyers at the Mandel Law Firm have just that sort of experience and can draft a prenup that clearly delineates marital from separate property and protects the client's interests.
Postnuptial agreements also can offer similar protections. The main difference is that they are drafted during the marriage. Substantial inheritances, career changes and significant improvements in a couple's financial situation may prompt them to draft a postnuptial agreement. Here again, the support of a seasoned attorney to protect their rights is highly recommended.