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Is a prenuptial agreement a good idea?

Between making wedding plans and getting to know future in-laws, being engaged can be the most exciting and stressful time in a person's life.

With so much happening already, and amid such a happy time, it can be easy to dismiss the idea of completing a prenuptial agreement. You might even assume you don't need one. However, before deciding against this, you should ask yourself a few questions to determine if it might be wise to have a prenuptial agreement.

Do either of us have separate assets to protect?

In the event of a divorce, marital assets are generally eligible for equitable distribution, according to New York property division laws. Legally protecting a premarital asset as separate property can ensure it does not become or get treated as marital property.

Do we have different levels of wealth?

While prenups are not reserved for people with substantial assets, they can be helpful if two people have very different levels of wealth prior to marriage. These agreements can also be helpful if one person has much more premarital debt than the other person has, as they can protect the person without the debt from having to be responsible for it in the event of divorce.

Are there family issues to consider?

If you have children from a previous marriage or a stake in a family business, then completing a prenup could be just as much for your family's protection as it is for yours. A prenup can ensure a divorce does not adversely affect a business or inheritance for your children.

Do we agree on what we would want in a divorce?

Addressing issues like spousal support or special arrangements in a prenup gives you the opportunity to resolve problems when you are both on the same page and non-adversarial. Making such decisions now could prevent a lot of anger and frustration should the marriage end.

Prenuptial agreements can be effective tools for people entering a marriage with specific assets, goals or wishes they want to protect. However, every case is different, so it can be helpful to discuss your specific situation and questions regarding a prenup with an experienced attorney.

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