It’s understandable why you might hesitate to bring up the possibility of signing a prenuptial agreement with the person you intend to marry. You’re afraid it might be seen as an admission that you already are planning your divorce.

Actually, having a prenuptial agreement could do wonders for your relationship. Since money typically is one of the main reasons people get divorced in New York and across the country, doesn’t it make sense to bring agreements about money into your marriage before it begins?

When you get married, you might bring considerable assets to the union. Or, if you’re young and just starting your career, you could have few assets and lots of debt. Even in the latter scenario, a prenuptial agreement makes sense.

Simply, a prenuptial agreement is a contract between two members of a couple, executed before you get married. It usually spells out many of the following elements in the what-if-you-divorce scenario, and it also can be customized to fit your situation:

  • Division of earnings and assets
  • Division of debt
  • Amount of spousal support and how long payments will last
  • Creation of an estate plan to state what happens to assets upon death
  • Which state’s law applies to the prenuptial agreement in the case of multiple homes

A prenuptial agreement cannot make predeterminations about child support, custody or visitation. In the event of a divorce, a court will make that ruling after determining what is in the best interest of the children.

If you decide to enact a prenup, it’s important that both parties consult with their own attorneys before signing a prenuptial agreement. You need your own counsel to represent your best interests.