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A Practical Guide to Prenuptial Agreements

marriage and divorce attorneyMen and women marry, generally speaking, because they are in love. At the time of marriage couples rarely think about getting divorced. Divorce isn’t romantic. Marriage certificates are not supposed to have expiration dates built into them. However today, divorce is much more common than it was in the past. Do you need a prenuptial agreement?

Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements are not for everyone. These agreements are prepared prior to marriage. One party hires an attorney to draft the prenuptial agreement and the other party needs an attorney to review it to see that it is fair. Prenuptial agreements provide structure for issues concerning division of assets, spousal maintenance (alimony), divorce, death of one of the parties, separation of the parties and the disability of one of the parties. The law to New York requires a prenuptial agreement to be in writing and executed by each of the parties. The agreement also must be acknowledged in the same manner as a deed (this requires the notarization of the parties statements).

Second Marriages

Individuals entering into a second marriage are more likely to request that a prenuptial agreement be entered into than those being married for the first time. This is especially true when there are children from the prior relationship. The prenuptial agreement allows each of the parties to protect assets acquired prior to the date of the marriage.

Prenuptial Agreements are not Romantic

The discussions of entering into a prenuptial agreement can cause strife among the prospective nuptials. Many individuals going into a marriage are of the belief that if they ask their prospective spouse to sign a prenuptial agreement, it will convey a lack of love and belief that the marriage will not be long lasting.

Conclusion

Couples who enter into a marriage where either party has significant assets or children from their prior marriage, they should consider entering into a prenuptial agreement. Although prenuptial agreements are not romantic, this should not stop the parties from making logical and intelligent decisions concerning their economic rights. Although, when people get married, they don’t think about divorce. A divorce rate of almost 50% is a fact of life.prenuptial and post nuptial attorneys

Who Needs a Prenuptial Agreement?

family law and divorce attorney on Long IslandPrenuptial agreements are not for everyone. The only individuals eligible for prenuptial agreements are people getting married. Seriously though, who needs a prenuptial agreement and why would you really want one?

Prenuptial Agreements deal with issues such as assets accumulated during the marriage, professional licenses and spousal maintenance issues.

Starting On Equal Terms

Many couples who marry have similar financial circumstances. However, during the course of the marriage, one party may decide to stay home and raise the children which would have a negative impact on his or her career. This provides a ground in a divorce for requests for alimony (spousal maintenance).

Prenuptial Agreements Cost Less Than Engagement Rings

Engagement rings today cost anywhere between $5000 and $25,000. A prenuptial agreement will usually cost between $2500 and $7500. It is a lot cheaper than an engagement ring. It is said that diamonds last forever. Diamonds in the engagement ring may last forever but 50% of all marriages fail. This makes the cost of prenuptial agreements when considered over the long run a lot less expensive.

Don’t Wait For The Last Minute

If you anticipate entering into a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse, you shouldn’t wait to a few weeks before the marriage to retain an attorney to draft the document. Prenuptial agreements should be negotiated several months before the parties get married.

Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers

assistance in family court and with prenuptial agreementsThe attorneys at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo draft prenuptial agreements. It addition we draft post nuptial agreements and separation agreements. The firm also litigates all divorce issues. These issues may involve divorce grounds, family law, child custody, changing visitation, child abuse and child neglect, drafting separation agreements, prenuptial and post nuptial agreements. We also have litigated cases involving mothers’ rights and fathers’ rights. Call for a free consultation.

May/December Romance Needs a Pre-Nuptial

bruce-willis-emma-hearningAging movie stars often have relationships with young beautiful women. There are many examples of these “May/December” relationships. Michael Douglas, age 65, is married to the beautiful Catherine Zetta Jones, age 40. Lorenzo Lamas, age 52 is engaged to be married to Shawna Craig, age 23. Bruce Willis, who was formerly married to Demi Moore, is 54. He recently married, Emma Hearning, a 30 year old model. He trumps his ex-wife, Demi, who is 47 years old and married to the 32 year old, Austin Kutcher.

How do these aging movie stars avoid losing their shirt when these Hollywood marriages fail. One way, that anyone with assets can avoid losing a substantial portion of their assets in a divorce is to have a Pre-Nuptial Agreement. Pre-Nuptial Agreements basically set up a plan for the division of assets and for spousal support (alimony) should the marriage fail. The agreements are straight forward and deal with all financial marital issues.

Pre-Nuptial Agreements are now commonly used by individuals who are married more than once during their lifetime. They deal with problems presented at the time of divorce, they also deal with inheritance rights in the event one of the parties to the marriage (usually the older man) dies first.

I have written many Pre-Nuptial Agreements in my legal practice that deal with May/December marriages. I often wonder about the basis of these relationships. Is it the financial security the deep pocketed man provides or is it true love? I am sure love is a factor but I very rarely come across a May/December marriage where the man is both older and poor!

Should you have a question about a Pre-Nuptial or Post-Nuptial Agreement, feel free to give the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo a call at 1-800-344-6431 or email us at schlissel.law@att.net.

Elliot Schlissel, Esq.

Picture of Bruce Willis & Emma Hearning courtesy of iVenus.com.

Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren’s Post-Marriage Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

tiger_woods__elin_nordegrenReports have been circulating the past few days that Tiger Woods has been in negotiation with his wife Elin to “update” the pre-nuptial agreement to induce her to stay in the marriage after news of several of his extra-marital affairs became public.

Originally, the couple’s pre-nuptial agreement, signed in October of 2004, stipulated that Ms. Nordegren would receive a $20m payment from Mr. Woods after 10 years of marriage, which would have been in the year 2014. But with the recent revelations, news sources have reported that he has offered her an immediate payment of $5m and an additional $55m if she stays with him until October of 2011. The new agreement would reportedly also given her even another $20m if she stayed longer (totaling $80m). It would have also required her to attend public events with him and allow him to show the world (and his corporate sponsors, who are sticking with him so far) that he and Ms. Nordegren had reconciled completely.

These reports make it (mildly) surprising that she left for Sweden this week, thus potentially forfeiting any payment under either the old pre-nuptial agreement or any new agreement. It would definitely be understandable if she simply felt that no amount of money is worth staying in a miserable marriage. Alternatively, her stay overseas may be temporary and the couple will be getting back together. Not much is known publicly at this point.

It is noteworthy that although most news sources are reporting that the couple were in negotiations to sign a new “pre-nuptial agreement,” that term is not the correct one. If a couple who is already married signs the equivalent of a pre-nuptial agreement, it is called a “post-nuptial agreement” because the nuptials have already taken place.

You can always contact the office by phone at 800-344-6431 or by e-mail for questions about pre or post-nuptial agreements, divorce, or any other kind of legal matter.

Picture courtesy of thisisdiversity.com.

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