OUR BLOG

15 Jul 16

NYC Property Division Lawyers

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Going into a marriage with a lot of property is something that many of people do every year. However, you would be crazy to not protect yourself financially before getting married. A lot of people end up losing their fortune because they do not spend the time to prepare accordingly. Although divorce rates are dropping in the United States, there are still a lot of divorces every year. It is vital to take steps today to prepare yourself before getting married.

The good news is that this is now a common practice in many areas. If you want to protect your finances from a divorce, there is a process that you can go through before you get married. Our team has a ton of experience in this area, and we can help you in a variety of ways. Here are some of the most important steps to take in order to protect yourself financially in the years ahead.

Premarital Counseling

Getting marriage counseling before the marriage is an important part of having a strong marriage. There are a lot of people who are excited about all of the changes that are starting to take place in this area. Marriage counseling was a long and drawn out process at one time. Today, you can take online classes with your future spouse before getting married.

Part of the discussion in this counseling should be your personal finances and assets. There are a lot of people who do not discuss their personal finances before getting married. This is a huge issue that a lot of people have to deal with. Now is the time to start laying out a plan for your future lives together with your money.

Part of that plan should be about getting a prenuptial agreement. This is where the finances are already divided out in case of a divorce. Although no one wants to think about it, there are times when this happens in your life. If you have a lot of money that you need to protect, this is the best and most effective way to do it.

Investments

A major part of building wealth is investing. There are a lot of people who have been investing diligently over the years. As part of this investing, you have to have a plan for how to divide up your investments in the event of a divorce. Few people will sign a prenuptial agreement if the other party is going to get nothing.

The problem in this area comes in when a person owns a business or has a lot of land. These things are tough to divide out, and no one wants to lose family land or a business that they have been working hard for.

With all of these factors to consider, it is easy to see why a divorce can get so complicated with an agreement in hand before the process. If you have a high net worth, it is vital to plan for this event before the marriage actually takes place. Doing so will save you a lot of time and money later on in your life.

Life Insurance

Many people today have a life insurance policy on them. It is important to protect your family in the event of your death financially. However, should you get a divorce, you probably do not want your ex-wife or ex-husband on your life insurance agreement.

As part of any prenuptial agreement, you need to have a plan to either dissolve the life insurance agreement or to transfer it to someone else. Not doing so could result in a disaster for the rest of your family if you do die. Over time, this is one of the most important things that you have to figure out in your prenuptial agreement.

Property Division Overview

All the choices that you need to make when executing a property division needs to be based on all the available information. Depending on which pieces of information you have (or lack), you might end up either giving up more than you should or not getting all of what you are supposed to receive in the property division. Guessing any of the details is not an acceptable method. Appraisals are a necessary evil. Indeed, they can be costly in some cases, but appraisals are a worthwhile investment. In some scenarios, a forensic accountant may have to come in and assist. Your NYC property division lawyer should be able to refer you to a forensic accountant and other specialist that can collectively give you an advantage in the process.  

Your lawyer and their team should examine every piece of property accumulated during the course of the marriage. Your attorney and his or her team of professionals will handle all of the finer details. Then they can boil all the data they collect down into a clear and concise proposal. In the event that the other side accepts the proposal, the work in the division of property is done and the parties can go through with their divorce. If any disputes arise, you should be able to rely on your property division lawyer to aggressively battle for your rights and protect what is rightfully yours.

Communal Property vs Separate Property

In New York City, all the property that a couple accumulates during the marriage is considered as marital or communal property. These assets are collectively spoken of as the marital estate.  For this reason, it should be split up accordingly between the spouses. Details including the value increase of property or real estate, as well as retirement accounts, must be included in the divorce property division process. Inheritances and gifts are exceptions to this rule.

Additionally, when you wedded your spouse, you may have already had some property, cash savings or investments.  Your spouse may have come into the marriage with their own property, cash and/or investments as well.  These assets are known as separate property.  You and your spouse can exclude specific pieces of property from the marital estate by entering into a marital contract, such as a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. In the absence of a written and signed document, the presumption is that property purchased during the marriage is indeed marital property.  Again, this excludes except inheritances.  It also excludes personal injury/worker’s compensation awards for pain and suffering and third-party gifts.

Our Team

Overall, these are never fun topics to discuss before a marriage. However, if you do not get a prenuptial agreement before you get married, you could leave yourself open to a lot of financial recourse from your spouse. Over time, you must figure out a plan in this area before it is too late.

Our team has a lot of experience in this area with helping people financially. We know all of the challenges that you will face in this process, and we have a plan to help protect you in the future as well. Now is the time to start working on a protection plan for the future in your financial life.

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