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Why should New York couples consider a prenuptial agreement?

Because each state has laws determining how marital property will be divided in the event of divorce, essentially every state affords married parties some form of prenuptial agreement, whether or not such a document is ever drafted by an attorney. New York is an equitable distribution state, meaning that a court's determination of property division may or may not be a split down the middle. We discussed this issue about a week ago with reference to the Harold and Sue Ann Hamm divorce.

Basically, marrying couples have to ask themselves if they want their state's version of a prenuptial agreement or if they want a customized agreement that fits their particular situation. The best way to approach this question is to have a serious, transparent discussion about current finances and the future.

Couples who have this conversation usually come out of it with a clear and healthy sense of what their marriage will look like in financial terms, but soon-to-be-spouses also strengthen their trust in one another by addressing a money issue together and resolving it.

There is a long list of reasons for why married couples eventually decide to divorce, and money trouble is one of the most common. Drafting a prenuptial agreement can help spouses get on the same page, financially speaking, from the very start of their marriage.

While most people won't need a prenuptial agreement beyond the one built into their state's laws, exploring exactly what those laws are does lead many couples to decide that a prenup is the right path for them. New Yorkers with premarital financial concerns may want to visit our New York prenuptial agreement page. Our firm helps spouses with a variety of marriage and family law issues.

Source: The New York Times, "You Already Have a Prenup," Erik W. Newton, March 21, 2013

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