Despite the potential advantages, many people are hesitant to get a prenuptial agreement, which is colloquially known as a prenup. Some people are simply so in love with their fiance that they do not even want to contemplate the possibility that their relationship might sour at some point in the future. Others feel that getting a prenup is like dooming their relationship to fail in advance. Still, getting a prenuptial agreement is simply a part of good planning, and here are five reasons why:
- Dividing property in advance
- The fact of the matter is that most people do not get married believing they are going to get divorced in the future, which means they give little thought to issues like how their property would be divided in the event of a divorce. This lack of forward thinking just means that if a couple does get divorced (and statistically speaking, half of all couples in the United States do get divorced), they will need to work out these issues at the time. Planning out the division of marital property early with a prenuptial agreement can help avoid a lot of the pain, and keep you from needing to sort out these issues in the middle of a heated divorce.
- Protecting heirlooms
- There are many people that own property that doesn’t have a particularly high monetary value, but which holds a great deal of personal value. These items may be personal creations, gifts from loved ones, or heirlooms passed down from generation to generation, and unfortunately, these items can often become the subject of debate in a divorce proceeding. If you have a treasured heirloom you do not want to risk losing in a divorce, you may want to consider getting a prenuptial agreement to make sure it stays with you.
- Ensuring your children can inherit
- One increasingly common problem is for a soon-to-be-married couple to have a child from another relationship. This can potentially create inheritance issues if one parent dies before they formally adopt the child or write a will, since only biological or adopted children can typically inherit under New York estate law. However, a prenuptial agreement can guarantee the inheritance of your spouse’s child, ensuring they will be able to inherit your property even if you never legally adopt them or name them as an heir in your will.
- Protecting your inheritance
- On the other side of the inheritance issue, some people have a reasonable expectation that they may receive an inheritance from a family member at some point in the foreseeable future. Under normal circumstances, if you receive that inheritance during the marriage, there is a reasonable chance it will be intermingled with the marital property and your spouse may be able to take some of it. With a prenuptial agreement, you can make sure your inheritance is protected and is not divided during a divorce.
- Taking care of pets
- Pet ownership is increasingly common among young adults, and figuring out pet care can be a surprisingly divisive issue in divorces. In some cases, a battle over a beloved pet can be nearly as intense as a battle over custody of a child. If you have a dog, cat, bird, or other pet, and you want to make sure that pet remains yours in the event of a divorce, you may want to get a prenuptial agreement.
If you have questions regarding prenuptial agreements or other aspects of family law, you should seek advice from an attorney experienced in handling these matters. A New York matrimonial lawyer, who is experienced in handling family law cases of all sorts, can advise you of your legal rights and will fight for your best interests in court. If you are facing a dispute related to the equitable distribution of property, child custody, child support, or any other family law issue, contact the Suffolk County family court lawyers at McGuire, Peláez and Bennett at (631) 348-1702.