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Financial woes during divorce can be eased by a prenup

A prenuptial agreement might not be the first thing that pops to mind when a couple decides to marry, but addressing the topic early on is still a good idea. Many couples can benefit from the protection afforded by prenuptials. During a divorce, terms laid out in a prenup can make the process smoother and help produce the best outcome possible.

Most people differ from their spouse in at least one key way. For instance, one spouse might have an eye for fashion, and the other might take the more casual route. While this is not necessarily an indication for a prenup, different approaches to money management is a fairly clear sign. Even when New York spouses earn roughly the same amount, different focuses on savings and debt can create problems down the road. Prenuptial agreements are essential to avoid being held responsible for the debt incurred by an ex-spouse.

Inheritances are another financial issue that can be addressed ahead of a marriage. This is a particularly good idea for individuals who are set to receive a large inheritance. Even if received during the course of the marriage, New York family law still considers inheritances to be separate property. However, comingling the inheritance with marital finances -- including to pay off marital debt or pay for a house -- compromises that status, creating an opportunity for an ex-spouse to receive part of those funds during the divorce.

For the most part, couples in New York tend to marry for love rather than money. However, there is little denying the potential financial impact of a divorce. Thinking ahead and considering all possible outcomes of a marriage -- including both the possibility of remaining married and not -- can help couples address the most important issues in prenuptial agreements.

Source: cheatsheet.com, "Marriage: 5 Signs You Need a Prenuptial Agreement", Megan Elliott, March 28, 2016

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