Understanding Prenuptial Agreement in New York
Amid the fun and glamour of marriage, there are also legal contracts that define couples' rights and responsibilities. One of these contracts is a prenuptial agreement, which today is a must-have for couples wishing to marry.
New York is one of the few states yet to adopt the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. However, the state has robust marriage laws that define prenuptial agreements. You should understand the legal implications if you wish to include a premarital contract in your wedding plans in New York.
Read on for reasons you should have a New York’s premarital agreement.
New York Prenuptial Agreement: An Overview
A prenup involves signing a contract between two prospective spouses. The agreement highlights the framework of wealth distribution and alimony due to separation, divorce, or death.
A premarital contract in New York usually takes place before marriage and becomes effective upon the official union.
According to section 236B (3) of New York's Consolidated Laws, both spouses entering the contract must sign and notarize their agreement in the state of New York.
Reasons for Prenups in New York
If you wish to enter a civil union as a couple, you need a prenup arrangement. Since relationships have unique needs, it is possible to customize your premarital agreement according to your needs.
For instance, a single mother considering a second marriage may wish to sign a premarital contract to preserve her children's heritage. On the other hand, a wealthy spouse may want to safeguard the family fortunes against liabilities before getting married.
The bottom line is: a prenuptial agreement allows spouses to manage their assets and decide on how to share financial obligations if their union ends.
Here are additional reasons for signing a prenuptial agreement:
You Are Remarrying
When remarrying, you'll probably have financial obligations such as child support from the previous marriage. A prenup helps you separate your new spouse from earlier obligations arising from your past relationship.
Your Spouse Has a Huge Debt Bill
If your prospective spouse has considerable debt, avoid accumulating debts in your new marriage. Therefore, a prenuptial agreement cushions you against your spouse’s debt if you divorce.
You Are Wealthier Than Your Spouse
Sometimes you may have more assets than your prospective spouse. A prenuptial agreement protects your separate assets from being subject to marriage laws during a divorce. On the other hand, if your spouse is wealthier than you are, a prenuptial agreement will guarantee you alimony (support) from your spouse when you divorce or separate.
What Can Render a New York Prenup Invalid?
New York hasn't ratified the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act but has contract rules that guide prenup agreements. A spouse may challenge the validity of the deal based on the following reasons:
Before signing the contract, both spouses must fully disclose their assets and financial obligations. If either party defrauds the other by hiding some information or deliberately undervalues their assets, the court may void the agreement.
The prenuptial agreement occurs when both parties are in the right mental state. There should be no coercion, undue influence, or threat to sign the document. If either party signs the contract unwillingly, the agreement could be invalid.
The New York laws require a fair distribution of wealth and resources to benefit both parties. For instance, if the agreement removes spousal support, it shouldn’t subject the aggrieved spouse to financial assistance from the state. Similarly, the contract shouldn’t contain unreasonable provisions from either spouse.
Hiring the Same Attorney
The law requires both parties to have fair legal representation from different attorneys. In addition, both parties should seek sound legal advice from respective attorneys before signing the document.
You may download our prenuptial agreement template for New York for legal assistance in filing prenups.