There are many issues that can be addressed by a prenuptial agreement, including the division of assets and the amount of maintenance (alimony) an ex-spouse receives after a divorce. Prenuptial agreements are especially common for high net-worth marriages. They are an important tool, since it is impossible to predict how a court will divide a couple’s assets if there is no prenuptial agreement.
However, keep in mind that many issues can render a spouse to challenge a prenuptial agreement or jeopardize your assets, including:
- Not being honest about all your property. Trying to hide assets or deliberately undervaluing them.
- Not having separate counsel. Working with the same lawyer creates an ethical conflict that may invalidate the agreement.
- Using Do-It-Yourself forms. These are likely to be tossed out by courts because they do not meet the requirements or are filled out incorrectly. A prenuptial agreement is not a “one size fits all” type of agreement.
- Not having a prenuptial agreement for a second marriage. Getting one for your second marriage is as important as for a first marriage.
- Signing the agreement in the “Shadow of the Alter”. Agreements should be thoroughly discussed and reviewed well in advance of the wedding date.
Remember also that getting one for your second marriage is as important as for a first marriage. Since a prenuptial agreement can be crucial to protecting your financial interests, the importance of seeking an experienced New York divorce attorney’s advice cannot be overstated.
Jacqueline Newman joined Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP in 1998 and is now the managing partner of the firm. Ms. Newman’s practice consists of litigation, collaborative law and mediation. She specializes in complex high net worth matrimonial cases and also in negotiating prenuptial agreements. Read more about Jacqueline Newman.