Prenuptial agreements and same-sex couples

It's been just over a year since same-sex marriage was legalized throughout the country. New York, as many of our readers know, legalized it in 2011.

The financial benefits and legal rights of being married are often greater than those of being partners. However, for gay couples now contemplating tying the knot, it's important to consider what will happen in the event that the marriage ends.

It's wonderful that you and your beloved are now entitled to automatically inherit the family home, to file taxes as a married couple, which can save money, and to be eligible for survivor and spousal benefits from Social Security and the Department of Veterans Affairs. However, as a married couple, you also need to take steps to protect your financial assets and potentially limit how much your spouse will get in the event of a divorce.

That's where prenuptial agreements come in. No couple wants to contemplate the possibility of divorce before they've even walked down the aisle. However, for any married couple, particularly where one or both people are going into a marriage with considerable assets, their own property and/or children, a prenup can save time, money and conflict later on.

When drawing up a prenup, it's essential that it is done properly so that it will hold up in court. Otherwise, there's really no point in having one. That's why it's important to consult a New York family law attorney who's well-versed in the state's laws. It's also wise for each person to have his or her own attorney involved in the process.

Source: Consumer Reports, "How Same-Sex Marriage Has Changed Couples' Finances," Tobie Stanger, accessed July 13, 2016

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