If you really think about what a prenuptial agreement is, it is probably one of the most obvious, everyone-needs-one documents, and yet they are still a source of anxiety and questions. Why is that?
Prenuptial agreements have only really entered public consciousness, from a media and entertainment standpoint in the 80s when TV shows and movies started added mention of the document in their dialogue. Now, there are jokes, and hashtags (#wewantprenup ring a bell?)
To have any negative a social stigma affect a very necessary financial decision seems foolish. Prenuptial agreements are a necessity for anyone getting married. In New York City, we like to think we are a little more savvy when it comes to decisions about how we manage finances and our future. It is a protection against an age old system which says that when you marry, you sign all but your shoes over to the other party, which is really ancient and silly. Until the law catches up with contemporary times- right, because we know the law loves to just bend with the liberal sway of things *eyeroll*- people have to get a prenup to merely state what should already be a given- everything I have is mine, and everything you have is yours. It’s as simple as that.
There is this show on television which you may have heard of, and you may watch if you put the TV on at 2 in the morning and are avoiding infomercials, called Frasier. In it, Niles, Frasier’s brother is in the process of a divorce from Maris. At the divorce, she brings in a note that he wrote to her which was a little poem that said:
“You’re the girl my heart adores, everything I have is yours.”
He quickly adds after reciting that note and telling his brother that Maris is stopping at nothing in this cutthroat legal marathon of a divorce, “[she] is calling that a prenup!” No worries, no judge would call gin-soaked, 15 year old, bar napkin scrawl a prenup, however, Niles is nevertheless concerned because his significantly larger assets than Maris’ means that without that prenuptial agreement, he is still left ‘exposed’, well, his assets are. The state of New York would not recognize a verbal agreement as a legally binding scenario.
A prenup is like car insurance. You don’t avoid getting full coverage just because it may magically cause you to get into an accident. You get it because you never know when someone else may fall asleep at the wheel and blow a stop sign. Driving anywhere is unpredictable, let alone in the busy city, right? In a litigious society in this day and age, having a prenup just makes sense.
If, for example, the woman in the soon-to-be marriage, has a significantly smaller income than her husband, he may be hesitant to raise the issue. However, here in New York City, as prenups are on the rise, we rarely see that as a deterrent. Mostly, the lesser earning spouse is not afraid to show their loyalty and the fact that they are marrying for love, and that the financial circumstances if the couple were to split, is not something about which he/she is concerned. There is no longer the feeling that a prenups signifies ‘divorce talk’ but simply means you are planning for a sound financial future.
While wedding planning, talking about finances will come up, as it should. It is inevitable, and vital to a healthy marriage. Agreeing to sign a prenups isn’t giving up or giving in. In fact, it is committing. You are committing to take the time and devote the attention to such a serious topic in a mature manner, which shows already that your relationship is off to a much healthier start than most ever experience.
You purchase car insurance without assuming you will get into an accident, and you wouldn’t let your future marriage come with any less protection or any less preparedness. Purchase your prenuptial agreement from our experienced staff attorneys at www.nycprenup.com .