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Prenuptial agreements garner press when celebrities divorce. Since the assets of major celebrities can be enormous and cover many significant personal and business assets, prenuptial agreements make a great deal of sense. The intriguing nature of celebrity divorces garner press that can, however, be misleading. People assume that only persons with high net worth or famous people are eligible for prenuptial agreements.
Who Can Ask for a prenup?
Anyone can request a prenuptial agreement in order to clarify ownership of property in case a marriage dissolves. Granted, persons with high net worth definitely would benefit immensely from these agreements. Wealthy individuals are not the only people capable of benefiting. Any man or woman with personal property or assets of any level of value may find prenuptial agreement contracts valuable.
In New York, prenuptial agreements must be signed by both parties, notarized, and done so before the marriage takes place. Once a couple marries, the prenuptial agreement goes into effect.
Prenuptial agreements positively must be written contracts. Oral agreements likely won’t have any standing or value in court.
Protecting Self and Family
To cover all the reasons why someone may benefit from a prenuptial agreement is nearly impossible. In general, a prenuptial agreement allows a person to retain ownership to something he/she amassed or created without any contribution from a spouse. It’s something a Queens county divorce attorney can help with.
For example, an entrepreneur might own a business for ten years. Over the course of the decade, profits from the business yield savings tallying $300,000. The entrepreneur then enters into a marriage that lasts only 14 months. Without a prenuptial agreement, the entrepreneur’s spouse may seek a significant amount of the savings or equity in the business during a contested divorce.
While the divorce court’s judgment could find in favor of the entrepreneur, no one knows how any particular court will decide on property and asset allocation. So, the hard working entrepreneur might be in a difficult position in the aftermath of the proceedings.
And where would this leave any children of the entrepreneur? The entrepreneur might have one or more children from a previous marriage. The money the entrepreneur saved could have been intended for those young ones. Funds directed towards an ex-spouse are funds that do not go to the children.
A prenuptial agreement could keep such a less-than-desirable — and very costly — situation from occurring.
A Solid Prenuptial Agreement
The general concept of a prenuptial agreement sounds very simple. The document defines terms regarding ownership of property. Being simple in concept is not the same thing as the actual document being overly simplified and lacking critical elements.
Yet, there are sources for generic templates that fit such a far-from-stellar- description available online. These documents might be completely dismissed in court in New York.
Procuring a template for a prenuptial agreement should not be too difficult. Downloading these forms from any number of online venues is possible. Such documents, however, could prove to be woefully inadequate when the time comes to appear in court. Something as serious as a prenuptial agreement should not be drafted on a template composed of generic wording.
A prenuptial agreement should be drafted by a family law attorney who understands the proper way to compose such a contract. Queens prenuptials lawyers affiliated with an established law firm specializing in divorce and family law might be well worth contacting.
What You Would Not Have in a Prenuptial
There are some kinds of clauses that cannot be included in a prenup, even if they are connected to finances.
Custody, Support, and Visitation of a Child or Children
No clauses connected to the custody, support, and visitation of your kids or any future children can be included in your Queens prenup. Even though child support is a monetary concern, in New York, determining who the primary custodian of the children should be, who would be responsible for making child support payments, and how much child support needs to be paid in the event of a divorce is the court’s purview. A minimum amount of financial support for children can be indicated in a prenuptial agreement.
Clauses That are Based on Details Other Than Finances
Any clauses that are cover details other than monetarily-based ones should be excluded from a prenuptial agreement. For instance, your prenup must not stipulate how often you have sex, any requirements for housework, or visiting limitations for inlaws. Under some circumstances, courts in Queens county may simply ignore these kinds of clauses. There are some scenarios in which a court would rule that terms like these render the whole agreement invalid.
Even though a prenuptial agreement is legally binding, judges can render your agreement invalid if any of the terms are perceived to be unfair, unjust or deceitful. Your Queens prenuptials attorney can look the proposed prenup over before you sign to make certain that it doesn’t contain terms that would be considered unfair for you.
The Strength of the Document
Prenuptial agreements can be contested in divorce court. Contracts of all manner can be contested. Valid prenuptial agreements should hold up in court. Certain poorly-composed prenuptial agreements may be deemed invalid by the courts.
A review of the prenuptial agreement may review a host of gross errors in the document that, under New York state law, would render the prenuptial agreement useless. Incomplete or false information in the document could both be cited as the basis for requesting a prenuptial agreement be invalidated.
An experienced attorney is not likely to make such gross errors when drawing up a prenuptial agreement. Years of experience drafting prenuptial agreements and litigating the agreements in family law court definitely contributes to legal expertise.
The bottom line here is a prenuptial agreement drafted by an attorney should possess the validity necessary to be held up in court.
Of course, those contesting a prenuptial agreement may be able to do so successfully even when an attorney has drafted the document. One duty an attorney can perform would be a review of the agreement. If flaws are found, the attorney could argue the document fails the validity test in New York.
Discuss Prenuptial Agreements with Counsel
Queens residents with questions about prenuptial agreements may wish to direct their queries towards attorneys best capable of providing answers. Perhaps working with an attorney to draft or review the agreement would be a wise move as well.