Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements

Prenuptial Agreements

At Vacca Family Law Group, we help clients negotiate their prenuptial agreements before they get married. Many couples use prenuptial agreements to protect their interests in the event of a divorce, separation, or death. Even if you never have to rely upon your prenuptial agreement, it is an effective way to maintain peace of mind during your marriage. We know that the more secure a couple feels, the stronger their relationship will be.

What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is an agreement between you and your future spouse. It contains plans for your children, properties, investments - anything that is important to you - in the event of your divorce. It also protects your assets, inheritances, and rights in the event of a divorce. 

Even if you don’t intend to get divorced, having a prenuptial agreement is a great back-up plan for the future. As we like to remind our clients, every marriage ends – either in divorce or

death. Regardless of why you may need your prenup, you’ll be grateful for the time, money and emotional stress it will save you years down the road.

How a Prenuptial Agreement Works

Prenuptial agreements are signed before the marriage. Couples who are planning to marry often enter into prenuptial agreements that clarify each spouse’s financial rights and obligations in the event of a divorce. Couples can also use prenuptial agreements to determine what rights a spouse will have in the event of the other's death. 

The most common reasons that people create prenuptial agreements include:

  • Protecting assets that they had prior to the marriage
  • Protecting assets that they expect to inherit
  • Clarifying how marital assets will be divided 
  • Clarifying whether a spouse will be entitled to spousal support in the event of a divorce
  • Clarifying what estate rights a surviving spouse will have upon the death of the other

We strongly encourage engaged couples to create a prenuptial agreement in a way that helps them talk about what matters to them most. When you and your fiance discuss the terms of your prenuptial agreement in a non-adversarial way, it can strengthen your marriage. We like to call it “Conscious Coupling.” Not only are you learning to discuss difficult issues effectively, you are also increasing trust between you and learning new skills to resolve disputes that may arise in the future. 

How a Prenup Can Protect Premarital Assets

FAQs About Prenuptial Agreements

People often have a lot of questions about prenuptial agreements. We invite you to read through the following to learn more about these agreements.

Should I get a prenuptial agreement?

Yes. You should get a prenuptial agreement if you plan on getting married. We recommend prenuptial agreements for every engaged couple, even if you don’t have children or substantial personal assets. Making this agreement now will save you countless hours of stress and conflict should you ever decide to get divorced. 

Even if you have no reason to believe you will ever divorce, things can change in the future. If things don’t change, that’s fine - you just won’t use your prenuptial agreement. But if they do, you’ll have a prenuptial agreement to help you avoid conflict and move forward.

How long does it take to make a prenuptial agreement?

We recommend contacting a lawyer about six months before you’re planning to get married. Drafting a prenuptial agreement can take considerable time, maybe even several months, and you don’t want to still be negotiating the terms just weeks - or days - before your wedding.

How much does a prenuptial agreement cost?

A prenuptial agreement is an investment in your future, and it can save you hundreds of thousands - if not millions - of dollars later down the line. Everyone’s circumstances differ, but most prenuptial agreements in New York cost between $4,000 to $15,000. At the lower end of the range, the parties will have agreed on all terms in advance.  The higher end of the range includes substantial legal negotiations.

What if we just need a simple prenup?

For clients who truly want a “simple” prenup, I can tell you that you may not actually need one. A simple prenup may simply mean that you will be signing up to do exactly what the law dictates for divorcing spouses.  But many clients want to do something very different from what the law provides. They may want to define marital property differently. Or their financial lives may be entwined to such an extent that it may not be easy to determine exactly what constitutes separate property. With a well written prenuptial agreement, you can stipulate the terms that suit your needs and come up with personalized solutions.

Spousal Support in a Prenuptial Agreement

Should both parties have attorneys while drafting a prenuptial agreement?

We recommend that both you and your future spouse engage attorneys while working out your prenuptial agreement. That way, you can both know and fully understand exactly what you are signing. Lawyers also help you cover every base and fully futureproof your assets and estate. 

Using a Prenuptial Agreement to Avoid Contentious Divorce

Is a prenuptial agreement a bad idea?

A prenuptial agreement is not a bad idea.  But the way you create a prenup can be.  We highly recommend engaging in non-adversarial conversations with your fiance and his or her attorney or a mediator to discuss what is most important to you.  We do not recommend that the fiance with more assets or income ask their lawyer to draft a prenup and then present it to their fiance to review and sign.  That is definitely a bad idea.  

It’s a common misconception that by letting your soon to-be spouse know that you would like the two of you to sign a prenuptial agreement, you’re indicating that you don’t trust them or believe in a future together. This simply isn’t true. Wanting to start your marriage with an understanding of financial and other issues is actually a sign of love and respect for each other.  

Talking with our attorneys can help you broach the topic with your fiance. We’ve worked with couples in many different circumstances, and we have some great resources to help. 

Contact Vacca Family Law Group for a Prenuptial Agreement Attorney Today

Vacca Family Law Group assists clients of all different backgrounds with their prenuptial agreements. Our attorneys can help you learn more about how a prenuptial agreement can address your concerns and provide you with the security you are seeking. To speak with one of our qualified attorneys today and get started on your prenuptial agreement, contact us at 212-768-1115.

Contact Us to Schedule Your Initial Consultation

Please give us a call at 212-768-1115 or complete the form below.

    Postnuptial Agreements

    Postnuptial agreements not only help spouses clarify their rights and obligations during the marriage but also help them manage, protect, and clarify those rights and obligations in the event of divorce. Even if you never divorce, creating a postnuptial agreement can give you peace of mind during the marriage because you know your future financial situation is more secure should the marriage end.

    What is a Postnuptial Agreement?

    A postnuptial agreement is an agreement between you and your spouse that is signed during the marriage. It outlines your respective rights and obligations during the marriage as well in the event of divorce or death. This might include a plan about how your assets will be split, how your children will be cared for, or other things that are important to you. 

    By creating a postnuptial agreement now, you’ll save money in the future by reducing conflict that could easily arise if important issues aren’t properly addressed. A postnuptial agreement gives you financial and emotional stability as well as peace of mind by helping to protect the things that are most important to you.

    How a Postnuptial Agreement Works

    Postnuptial agreements are often entered into when there has been some sort of change in the marital relationship. Other times, a couple may enter into a postnuptial agreement due to financial circumstances that have altered.  In either case, the couple signing a postnuptial agreement plans to remain married and is not looking to divorce or legally separate in the immediate future.

    Here are some common reasons why people seek postnuptial agreements:

    • A prenuptial agreement was discussed, but never signed
    • There has been some sort of betrayal (whether emotional, physical or financial)
    • A spouse has recently acquired assets through a family gift or inheritance
    • A spouse feels the current financial arrangement in the marriage is not equitable

    Drafting and signing a postnuptial agreement does not mean you are committing to divorce. Instead, these agreements help a couple recommit to their marriage with a clear understanding of their current and future rights and obligations. Additionally, when postnuptial agreements are negotiated in a non-adversarial way, it helps a couple learn better communication and conflict resolution skills that can improve their marriage.

    FAQs about Postnuptial Agreements

    Should I get a postnuptial agreement?

    If there is ongoing conflict or stress in your marriage due to any sort of change in financial or emotional circumstances, a postnuptial agreement may be right for you.  We encourage you to speak with one of our qualified attorneys to discuss how a postnuptial agreement could help address concerns that you have should the marriage end. Making a postnuptial agreement now can save you hefty divorce costs down the road. It also helps you and your spouse fully understand your rights and responsibilities going forward in the marriage, which can reduce stress and tension.

    How long does it take to make a postnuptial agreement?

    The amount of time necessary to create your postnuptial agreement will depend on your unique circumstances. How much negotiation will need to take place? Are there challenging emotional issues between you and your spouse? Are there children involved? Each of these factors will come into play.

    How much will a postnuptial agreement cost?

    Postnuptial agreements in New York commonly cost between $5,000 and $15,000, depending on the unique circumstances. Some factors that affect the cost include the complexity of the terms and the time needed to negotiate and draft the agreement. 

    It’s important to consider that by creating a postnuptial agreement now, you could save hundreds of thousands - even millions - of dollars down the road. You not only achieve emotional stability by having a plan, but financial stability for your family and future. If your goal is to stay out of court should your marriage end in divorce, a postnuptial agreement could be an excellent investment now.

    Should both parties have attorneys while drafting a postnuptial agreement?

    We recommend that both you and your spouse hire attorneys while working out your postnuptial agreement. We want to make sure that you both have an opportunity to understand all your rights and obligations and understand the ramifications of what you are signing. A postnuptial agreement needs to be entered into fairly and cannot be one-sided.

    Will a postnuptial agreement hurt my marriage?

    Many people are hesitant to broach the subject of a postnuptial agreement with their spouse. They worry that talking about a postnuptial agreement will lead their spouse to believe they want a divorce. But this doesn’t need to be the case. There are plenty of ways to approach this topic through a calm and rational conversation. When you find attorneys or a mediator who can help you start a constructive conversation about what is important to each of you and where your concerns lie, the process can lead to more security during the marriage and less conflict should the marriage end. 

    Meeting with our attorneys can help you learn how best to speak with your spouse about a postnuptial agreement. We work with individuals from many different backgrounds, and we can provide some helpful resources for you.

    Contact Vacca Family Law Group for a Postnuptial Agreement Attorney Today

    Vacca Family Law Group Team

    No two postnuptial agreements are the same because they are tailored for each couple’s specific circumstances. At Vacca Family Law Group, we will help you establish a postnuptial agreement that will meet your specific needs and provide you with the security that you need.

    To speak with one of our qualified attorneys today about your postnuptial agreement, contact us at 212-768-1115.

    Contact Us to Schedule Your Initial Consultation

    Please give us a call at 212-768-1115 or complete the form below.