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What are the real benefits of a prenup during divorce?

Making the guest list, choosing the flower arrangements and planning for a separation? Most people in New York do not associate prenuptial agreements with the process of wedding planning, but experts agree that this is ideally one of the best times to prepare for a possible divorce. Still, not everyone is convinced of their usefulness.

The benefits of a prenup actually kick in before couples even say, "I do." Marriage is a highly romanticized relationship, and while there is certain value to this aspect, there is also a more business-like side. The simple act of considering a prenuptial agreement and discussing it with a partner can lead to more serious considerations about what each person is and is not willing to take on. This is especially true if one partner has a higher propensity to acquire debt, as debt is usually considered community property and must be divided up during a divorce. A carefully worded prenuptial agreement can protect one spouse from the other's spendthrift ways.

Assets are not the only things that can be addressed in these agreements. A prenup can require that, should the couple divorce, a certain number of mediation sessions must be attended in order to reach an agreeable settlement. Making this type of forward-thinking decision can keep couples from running to court after a single failed session, therefore, saving them both time and money.

Prenuptial agreements can even be updated or even established after walking down the aisle. However, the latter are usually referred to as postmarital agreements. While not necessary to update annually, revisiting the agreement every five years or so can help New York couples be sure that they both still have firm control over their futures and their finances in a divorce.  

Source: The Huffington Post, "Plan For A Successful Divorce Before Your Wedding Day!", Jim Halfens, July 22, 2016

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