Prenuptial agreements, often referred to as “prenups” are legally binding contracts that a couple enters into before they legally marry. While prenuptial agreements are often frowned upon by individuals that are about to get married and commit their future to someone else, they serve many practical purposes. The primary purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to establish how each parties’ assets and liabilities will be divided in the event that either or both parties seek a divorce in the future. Prenuptial agreements should be viewed as a way to provide clarity and minimize disputes over specific matters in the event of a divorce rather than foreshadowing a divorce.

Prenuptial agreements often address the following issues:

Allocation of property:

a prenuptial agreement will set forth how assets and debts and other property or possessions acquired before and during the marriage will be divided between the parties in the event of a future divorce.

Asset protection:

a prenuptial agreement can shield specific assets obtained by a party prior to the marriage, such as business interests or family heirlooms from being the subject of marital division in the event of a future divorce.

Spousal maintenance or alimony:

a prenuptial agreement can specify the terms and duration of spousal maintenance or alimony payments as well as whether or not one spouse will receive a form of spousal support from the other in the case of a divorce.

Inheritance rights:

the rights of each spouse to inherit assets or property from the other spouse’s estate upon death may be covered in a prenuptial agreement.

Financial obligations:

a prenuptial agreement can specify who is making specific payments towards a liability, such as a mortgage payment, student loan debt, credit card payment, etc., or other financial obligations that may exist at the time of the marriage.

In order for a prenuptial agreement to be valid, they must meet certain legal requirements. Both individuals must provide full financial disclosure to the other and the prenuptial agreement must be entered into freely by both parties and without duress.

To schedule a consultation with an experienced prenup lawyer in Albany, NY contact Andrew H. Wood, Esq., PLLC by phone at (518) 694-8875 or email: [email protected].