Divorce might not be on the minds of couples in New York who are getting married, but there are reasons that individuals might want to think about creating a prenuptial agreement. Just as most people put on seat belts when they get into a car although they do not expect to crash, taking financial precautions in case of a divorce can also protect people.
Married couples can create a postnuptial agreement. Like prenups, these agreements can be used to identify which property people want to keep as separate and how they want to divide the assets and debts they share if they get a divorce. Before the marriage, if people have any assets that are difficult to valuate, they may want to get them appraised.
Separate accounts can help couples in keeping some assets separate. Couples can still have a joint account, but they should handle any financial matters relating to their individual assets through the separate accounts. If a person receives an inheritance, it must not be mingled with marital finances in any way to ensure that it will be considered separate property. As with other individual assets, any money spent on an inheritance, such as renovations on a house, should be done from the individual account.
These preparations might make for a less complicated process of dividing property if a divorce does happen, but couples may also be able to reach an agreement even if they have not done this preparation. Negotiating during a divorce can be difficult because emotions run high, but if spouses are able to cooperate with one another, they may be happier with the outcome than one ordered by a judge. Individuals might want to talk to an attorney about how they can balance the need to move negotiations along with the need to protect themselves financially.