Parties may opt out of equitable distribution by entering into a prenuptial (before marriage) agreement provided the agreement is properly drafted and acknowledged by the parties in a form required for a deed to be recorded. Opting out of the existing law is a way for spouses to avoid imposition by the court in terms of property division in divorce, allowing them to create their own contractual terms. Prenuptial agreements allow the parties to decide for themselves—in advance of any breakdown in the marriage—how they wish to divide the property accrued during the marriage.
Schedule a consultation with Jane K. Cristal, P.C. by calling (800) 817-5029.
The Nassau County prenuptial agreement attorneys at our firm have more than 80 years of collective experience. We bring unique insight to every matter we guide our clients through. When it comes to crafting a strong and effective prenup, you need trusted counsel. These matters can be complex and confusing. For example, such an arrangement can include an agreement that a professional or academic degree will not be subject to valuation and will be deemed the sole and separate property of the party who earned the license or degree, thus avoiding the thorny legal issue of valuing a party's enhanced earning capacity or the theoretical ability to earn a certain sum of money in the future based on the degree or license. Financial disclosure of the assets, liabilities, and income of each party is essential to the integrity of the document.
While prenuptial agreements used to be thought of as being an instrument for the rich and famous, seeking a prenuptial agreement has become much more commonplace and helpful. Often a person considering tying the knot who has accumulated some assets is concerned about protecting such assets and keeping them out of the marital pot for distribution. For example, if a party owns a home and the couple is planning to live in that home after the marriage, then the home becomes marital property subject to a claim for appreciation upon dissolution of the marriage. If someone has savings, he or she may wish, prior to the marriage, to declare that as separate property, together with any interest, reinvestment or accretions of whatever nature.
Or, if a party owns a business, particularly one passed down through family, he or she will wish to secure the status of that asset. Although talking about prenuptial agreements is not generally considered romantic, couples often find that by having an open and honest conversation in which they exchange their values, beliefs, expectations and concerns about marriage with each other, they experience an unexpected sense of intimacy and clarity.
Take the first step. Call our Nassau County divorce attorneys at (800) 817-5029. Jane K. Cristal, P.C. is here to help you protect your best interests and assets throughout life.