A prenup, short for a prenuptial agreement, used to be considered taboo to discuss, and many people are still uncomfortable talking about getting a prenup with their fiance. As time has gone on, though, more people have realized that a prenup can be helpful, even if they ultimately never get divorced. Here are five reasons you should consider getting a prenup for yourself and your future spouse:
- Negotiating division of marital property
- By far the biggest reason that most people seek out a prenup is to sort out how their marital property will be divided if they get divorced. Arguments over division of property are some of the most contentious that happen in divorces, and getting them out of the way beforehand can take a lot of pressure off of you. It also helps that negotiating these things before you are married can spare you the frustration of trying to work these problems during a divorce, when you are less likely to be clear-headed about the issue.
- Protecting important heirlooms or treasures
- Deciding who will receive what in a divorce is not a mere matter of dividing money and property. You may also have precious personal heirlooms or other treasures that do not necessarily have much financial value, but which you nevertheless want to make sure remain in your possession. A prenup can ensure your family heirloom stays in your family, even if you ultimately get a divorce.
- Dealing with financial responsibilities
- Issues related to money do not stop when it comes to dividing money and property. It is also a matter of defining financial responsibilities for each other’s debts. Without a prenup to clarify responsibility, you could find yourself burdened with your spouse’s debt, or vice versa, even after a divorce. You can also use a prenup to define responsibilities during a marriage, deciding who is responsible for paying what expenses.
- Creating protections for non-adopted children
- It is increasingly common, especially in cases where one or both spouses are remarrying, for spouses to bring children in from previous marriages. By default, however, these children do not receive any special benefits or protections when it comes to their parent’s new spouse. A prenup can establish protections for a child from outside the marriage, however, ensuring they receive inheritance rights from their new parent even if they are never formally adopted.
- Using a prenup for estate planning
- Finally, a prenup can be useful for purposes other than for a divorce. A prenup can also be used for estate planning to a limited extent, helping to determine how your property will be allocated if you or your spouse pass away. While this is no substitute for a more complete last will and testament, it can at least ensure at least some of your wishes are carried out if you or your spouse suddenly die.
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.