Manhattan Prenuptial Agreement Attorney
Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer in NYC and Manhattan
Before “I will,” Should You Pre-nup?
CONGRATULATIONS! You finally found Mr. or Ms. Right, the person with whom you’re hoping to spend the rest of your life. You hopefully found true love; your heart is bursting with joy; you’re excited and can barely wait to start your “happily ever after.”
You may have heard of, or yourself experienced, horror-divorce stories. They seem to be prevalent and ubiquitous nowadays. People seem to be saying that everyone needs a pre-nup and you’ve perhaps either bought into that narrative or don’t know what you should do. If you have questions, reach out to Manhattan Prenuptial Agreement Attorney Chaim Steinberger for experienced legal guidance.
Prenuptial [i.e., pre-marital] agreements (called “prenups” for short) have become all the rage even while many realize that a prenup will likely hurt the parties’ relationship and could speed, rather than hinder, the demise of the marriage. Thus, an engaged person should think long and hard, and carefully consider the purpose of the prenup and all its attendant dangers, before embarking on the path of seeking one.
What is a pre-nuptial agreement?
Any agreement entered into before marriage (or “nuptials”) is a “pre-nuptial” (also known as an “antenuptial”) agreement. People enter into them for several reasons but too often without reflection and merely as a reflexive act.
Prenuptial agreements–and the negotiations leading up to it–can, however, be damaging. So we advise people to think long and hard about what they’re trying to accomplish with the prenup and whether they are doing so in the best possible way.
The Perils of Prenups
Read Chaim’s three-part New York Law Journal article titled The Perils of Prenups. Part I outlines the dangers that prenups create, Part II discusses situations that prenups are absolutely necessary, and Part III outlines the methods and techniques couples and their lawyers can take to minimize the danger and damaging effects of typical prenups, and turn the prenup into a constructive, marriage-planning document instead of a destructive divorce-planning document.
In New York State, Prenups Are Generally Unnecessary:
Begin by considering what you hope the prenup will do for you and your fiance. In New York State anything owned before marriage is the “separate property” of the person owning it so long as it hasn’t been commingled with marital funds. Anything earned during the marriage (or titled in both names, or commingled) will belong to the both of you and will be subject to distribution upon divorce. Inheritances and personal injury settlements–again, so long as not commingled–remains separate property. This tracks the expectation of most people today. For most people living in New York, therefore, no prenup is necessary. You don’t need a prenup to retain ownership rights of your separate property. New York State law, as it exists today, will already recognize your right.
So what is it that you want your prenup to do?
Why are prenups so dangerous?
At the time that the couple should be working on building a cohesive, loving relationship and embarking on their joint lives together, the last thing they want is to be thrust into an adversarial relationship one to another, and negotiating the terms of their death or divorce. It’s hard to stay friends when you’re fighting, and it’s hard to be loving when you’re negotiating your divorce. Moreover, just having that conversation can damper their ardor, cooling if not eliminating the romance and love they’ve each been looking forward to.
Sometimes, However, You Might Still Need a Prenup:
- If the two of you march to the beat of your own drummer and you don’t share the general values reflected by New York State law, then perhaps you might want a prenup. For example, if you share the Scandinavian sensibility and believe that neither spouse should ever have to support the other, then perhaps you’ll each want to waive such support from the other.
- If one of you will be leaving the workforce to care for a family, perhaps you want a prenup to protect the future of that spouse more than the law now does.
- If you have a family from a prior marriage, perhaps you want a prenup so that your new spouse will have a reasonable expectation of what you intend to leave your prior children.
- If you might move to a jurisdiction (like a community property state) where a court can invade a spouse’s pre-marital property on divorce, you might want to lock in your rights now with a prenup.
- If you want to exclude the appreciation of actively-managed separate property from marital distribution, you might need a prenup.
- If one of you has significant debt and you want to ensure that it will be dealt with fairly, you might want a prenup.
- If you want to reduce the transaction costs of a divorce, you might want a prenup.
If you need one, and they’re dangerous, then who you select to represent you is important!
Considering that a prenuptial agreement can be more destructive than constructive, which Manhattan prenuptial agreement attorney you select to represent you can be very important. A wise and thoughtful prenuptial agreement attorney would look to fashion the document as a marriage-planning one, and not as a divorce-planning one. He will use the opportunity to try to create a greater bond and trust between you and your fiance, instead of creating problems and ill-feelings between you.
Manhattan family law attorney Chaim Steinberger, as a skilled and experienced negotiator and mediator for more than a quarter-century, has knowledge, skills, and experience in drafting and negotiating such caring and constructive prenuptial agreements. Chaim’s practice is founded on a unique commitment to helping couples plan properly for their marriage and avoid conflict. He can help you decide whether a prenuptial agreement is necessary and wise for you and, if so, how to do so caringly and carefully.
Does Everyone Need a Prenup?
Contact Manhattan Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer Chaim Steinberger, P.C.
Our comprehensive understanding of New York City matrimonial law and complex financial issues allows us to effectively meet your needs. We can provide the right information and strategic advice you need to make important decisions for you and your family. Call our law firm at (212) 964-6100 for a free, no-obligation telephone consultation today.