How to Know When You Need a Prenuptial Agreement

If you are about to enter into a marriage with your significant other, you may be wondering if a prenuptial agreement is needed to protect your assets. Although no one likes to think about the possibility of a marriage dissolving, reasons couples choose to enter into a prenuptial agreement may include the following:

  • To clarify terms of divorce in case of future separation. Determining how a couple’s assets will be divided in a divorce before the couple gets married enables each party to clearly understand what they will receive after the dissolution of their marriage. This understanding can help reduce arguments in divorce proceedings, and may allow for a smoother divorce process.
  • To pass down property to exiting children. If one or both members of a couple have children from a previous relationship, they may use their prenuptial agreement to outline how they wish to pass down their assets in the case of their death. Without formally stating their intended division of assets, a spouse risks that the majority of their property could be claimed by their partner, or divided according to state laws.
  • To outline financial rights and responsibilities. Couples may use a prenuptial agreement to distinguish who is responsible for which financial aspects of their relationship. They can also clarify who has a right to which assets.
  • To provide protection from debt. If you or your spouse acquired significant debt prior to your relationship, you may wish to include in a prenuptial agreement that one partner is not responsible for the other’s financial obligations.

There are many reasons couples choose to enter into a prenuptial agreement. Often, couples choose this type of contract because they want to have a say in the division of their property in the event of divorce or death. If no prenuptial agreement or — in the case of death — estate plan exists, the state’s laws determine who has access to a person’s assets.

To learn more about prenuptial agreements, consult a skilled Long Island attorney with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C.

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