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Prenups settle property division and debt issues before divorce

Before their wedding day, New York couples might want to consider executing a prenuptial agreement. These agreements are not just for the rich and famous; in  fact, anyone getting married could benefit from one. If the marriage subsequently ends, issues such as debt and property division would be decided ahead of time, which could greatly reduce the potential for contention and courtroom battles.

It would be advantageous to discuss financial matters when New York couples are happy and amenable to compromise. Doing so also gives them the opportunity to understand how each of them views debt and to disclose current financial commitments and assets. Many people think that prenups focus only on property, but debts can be dealt with in them as well.

These days, most people come into a relationship with some sort of debt such as credit cards or student loans. The parties can agree that each will be responsible for his or her separate debt in the event of a divorce. Furthermore, couples can discuss issues such as future children. People do not always see eye-to-eye regarding how to raise children, so finding some middle ground in good times can be beneficial later. Whether one spouse will be entitled to alimony -- and how much -- could be included as well.

As long as the provisions of a prenuptial agreement do not violate public policy or current laws, it should be validated by the court if the parties divorce. It is also necessary to ensure that the agreement is properly executed in order to avoid any questions later regarding whether both parties signed it with full knowledge of its contents and without coercion or duress. If the prenup fails to meet these standards, it could be rejected by the court, which means that issues such as debt and property division will have to be negotiated again, but this time, the parties might not be as amicable.

Source: businessinsider.com, "Here's why every couple should get a prenup", Emmie Martin and Libby Kane, Nov. 15, 2016

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