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Friday, July 20, 2007

Why Get a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial accord is a contract between two people about to wed that details how assets will be distributed in the event of divorce or death. There are two types of prenuptial agreements (commonly called "prenups"): a marriage contract for people who are about to be married and a cohabitation agreement for unmarried couples. A variation for people who are already married is called a postnuptial agreement.

Most people think that only the very wealthy seek prenups, but that is not the case. Couples of modest means are increasingly turning to them for their own purposes. For example, a couple about to be married may use a prenup to outline what will happen to their property when they die so that they can pass on separate property to their children and still provide for each other. Without a pre-existing prenuptial agreement, a surviving spouse might have the right to claim a large portion of the other spouse's property leaving much less for the kids.

Prenups are most often used for the following purposes:

Keeping finances separate. If a couple divorces or when one spouse dies, the marital property will be divided between them, either by agreement or by a court. If you want to avoid this, you can do so in a prenuptial agreement.

Protecting each other from debts. If a prenup is not in place, then creditors can sometimes turn to marital property to satisfy the debts of just one spouse. A prenup can limit your liability for a spouse's debt.

Provide for your children from a previous marriage.

Keep property in the family.

Define who gets what if you divorce. This is probably the most common use for a prenup, especially when one or both spouses is very wealthy.

Outline child support, custody and visitation issues.

Relinquish the right to alimony.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a divorce or is about to get married in New York City, Long Island—including Nassau or Suffolk Counties, please contact the experienced Divorce Attorney Law Offices at Silberstein, Awad & Miklos.


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