Before you get married, you work to get what you want. You know that as long as you pay for the things you have and take care of them, you will have them. Once you are thinking about getting married, you have to think about how this is going to change once you say, “I do.”

When you get married, you and your new spouse merge in many senses. This means that assets you accumulate become shared assets. If the assets you had before commingle with the assets that you accumulate during the marriage, those assets also become shared assets.

You do have a way to protect the fruits of your labor — a prenuptial agreement. This agreement must be properly executed and can only include certain things. Before you start working on a prenup, you need to know the limitations.

Assets can be included

You can lay out who will get what assets if you divorce. You can include inheritances that you have received and those that you expect to receive. It is important to try to make the terms as concise as possible so that there isn’t any discrepancy about who gets what if you divorce.

Alimony, child support and child custody

You can include terms for alimony in a prenuptial agreement. You can’t include anything that pertains to child support or child custody since those matters must be decided based on the current New York laws at the time that you go through the divorce. Since you can’t predict what is best for a child ahead of time, these points shouldn’t ever be included in the premarital agreement.

A prenup can’t encourage divorce

When the court goes over the prenup, the prenup might get thrown out if the judge thinks that it encourages a divorce. You must be very careful in the wording of the prenuptial agreement to ensure that it is clear that it is only a contingency plan in case the marriage does end in a divorce.

Reasons a premarital agreement might be found invalid

You can’t rush a prenuptial agreement. Both parties have to have time to review the agreement. Each party has to have one’s own legal representation for the process. This means that you can’t spring a prenup on your betrothed shortly before the wedding. You also have to ensure the the prenup is fair, as one that seems to favor one party over the other will likely be invalidated.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001