New York Prenup Lawyer
If you want to establish a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse, please contact the Law & Mediation Office of Bracha Etengoff in New York. We can review the circumstances and determine the terms to include in the agreement that fit your needs.
A prenuptial agreement is a contract two people sign before getting married. The contract contains various terms about the marriage, including details of each person’s assets and how to handle a divorce. Although many people believe a prenup starts off marriage in a negative light, it is a kindness to yourselves as a loving couple now to take action to prevent dispute and litigation if circumstances change.
In New York, assets acquired during a marriage are marital property, and assets acquired before marriage are separate property. Inheritances received during marriage and kept in a separate account are also separate property. But in practice, divorce can drastically reduce all of your assets. Also, you may move to a state with different laws, such as a community property state, or even another country.
Sometimes, divorcing couples face ugly courtroom battles while negotiating matters such as alimony, child custody, and property division. Drafting a solid prenup before the marriage begins can protect your interests and ensure there’s a plan to follow if you need to file for divorce.
At the Law & Mediation Office of Bracha Etengoff, your New York prenup lawyer will represent you during prenup negotiations as a strong advocate for your legal rights. Whether you want to maintain ownership of a family business or prevent your spouse from taking your retirement account during divorce proceedings, you can count on us to ensure these issues are addressed to your benefit it in the prenuptial agreement.
We also have experience mediating prenups, which can reduce miscommunication and dispute. Bracha Etengoff will meet with you and your fiancée together to help you reach agreement on prenup terms, and then draft the prenup. Then, since a mediator is always neutral, you would each have an attorney review the prenup to look out for your interests.
Call the Law & Mediation Office of Bracha Etengoff at (347) 640-0993 today for your initial consultation and learn more about how we can help with your New York prenuptial agreement.
Elements of a Prenuptial Agreement
Some people think a prenup is unnecessary. That might be true in certain situations. However, a prenup isn’t just about protecting a person’s assets at the time of the marriage. Perhaps you anticipate an increase in your earning power, or starting a business, or purchasing real estate. Prenups can also protect assets you have yet to acquire.
Prenups include a range of scenarios that address potential issues that can arise in a marriage and create the framework for handling divorce proceedings. Additionally, you can make a plan for allocating assets if either person dies during the marriage.
The most common elements of a prenuptial agreement include:
- Finances during marriage
- Spousal support
- Division of debt
- Property division
- Estate planning
- Child support
- Child custody
You can negotiate the terms of each aspect of the prenup to reduce arguments in the future. For example, if you want to keep specific assets, such as real estate, you can include that in the prenup so your spouse can’t go after it during a divorce.
Requirements of a Valid Prenuptial Agreement
In New York, a prenup should meet these requirements:
- The agreement is in writing
- Both parties sign the document voluntarily
- Each person should have independent and separate legal counsel
- Both people must indicate in the agreement that it is reasonable and fair at the time of execution
- The agreement must not result from duress, be unconscionable, or one-sided to the point that a reasonable person wouldn’t accept the terms voluntarily
- A notary public must notarize the prenup
- The agreement must be signed before the marriage
Various factors could render a prenuptial agreement invalid, such as:
- Duress – A court might deem a prenup invalid if someone signed it under coercion or duress, such as on the eve of marriage.
- Fraud – Each party must disclose all assets before executing the prenuptial agreement. If either person intentionally hides assets or diminishes the value of an asset, the court could invalidate the agreement.
- Improperly executed – The prenup must be signed by both parties before a notary.
When you hire the New York Law & Mediation Office of Bracha Etengoff, we will guide you through every step of executing the prenuptial agreement. You won’t have to navigate the complicated procedure alone, or make an error that leads to complications down the road.
How to Create a Prenup During Mediation
Negotiations can become contentious even if you both eventually agree to a prenuptial agreement. Many couples face disagreements during negotiations that bring the process to a screeching halt. You might discover your partner has assets they don’t want to share or believes they are more suited to care for your children if you get a divorce.
Mediation can often benefit each party and establish terms both people are comfortable including in the prenup. Maintaining open and honest communication is essential. You will be able to voice any concerns you have and discuss the rights most important to you. We are ready to help you reach a mutually beneficial agreement together.
During mediation, your New York prenup lawyer will facilitate the negotiation process. We will review the terms you would like and suggest solutions to any disputes you and your partner face. We can help you resolve conflicts, so the prenup doesn’t hurt your relationship. Negotiations are usually smoother with both of you in the same room with an experienced mediator helping you reach agreement, rather than only communicating with each other through your lawyers.
When you’ve agreed together on the terms, we will draft the prenup. Then each of you will meet with a “review attorney” to ensure you understand its terms and your rights. If you desire changes to the agreement after your separate consults, we will revise the prenup accordingly. If desired, we can recommend trusted colleagues as review attorneys.
While this sounds like a more complex process, the total fees from mediating a prenup can even be lower than the traditional model. Costs are kept down because four-way communication between you, your partner, and each of your attorneys is reduced, and miscommunications are minimized.
The New York Law & Mediation Office of Bracha Etengoff represents clients in both traditional prenup negotiations and prenup mediation. You don’t have to simply give up what you want to keep your future spouse happy, or insist on terms they don’t want when we can find alternatives together. You can discuss your needs with us so we can draft an agreement that protects your interests and benefits both of you.
Contact a dedicated and trusted New York prenup lawyer today if you want legal representation while creating a prenuptial agreement. Call (347) 640-0993 for your confidential consultation. We can meet by video, in our Manhattan or Long Island office, or in your home or office.