Prenuptial or premarital agreements are contracts individual people enter into prior to marriage. These agreements are intended to outline what happens in the event the marriage ends. A well-crafted premarital agreement can be particularly useful when it comes to the grey areas that exist regarding divorce law, but it is important to recognize how prenuptial agreements can affect an uncontested divorce.
Ideally, most couples hope for an uncontested divorce but it doesn’t always work out that way. If the prenup was signed many years ago, or the value of the couple’s community property has significantly changed, or one spouse is unable to work for some reason – all sorts of life changes can affect what one person views as their property.
A premarital agreement intends to identify what happens to the common property the couple acquires during their marriage, but it may include a wide range of other areas in a marriage that are just as complex or difficult. Almost none of the life changes that a couple faces can be addressed by even the best premarital agreement signed many years ago. In some cases, a prenuptial agreement is of little help when filing an uncontested divorce.
Filing for Divorce in some states with a Prenup
If you are filing for divorce and you have a prenuptial agreement, you and your spouse may have to (depending on your state):
1.Review your prenuptial agreement and use the terms to agree on how the marital assets are to be divided.
2.If there are items that the prenuptial agreement did not address, work toward an agreement on those decisions.
If there is any disagreement, you will not have an uncontested divorce and you will need to go to court. When filing for divorce in New York with a prenup, the courts will, in all but the most unusual circumstances, uphold the terms of the prenuptial agreement. If there is a decision to be made that is not addressed in the prenuptial agreement, and the spouses can come to an agreement, they can avoid the expense and time involved with hiring separate lawyers and working out the issue in court.
At We the People, we help people complete their uncontested divorce paperwork – we aren’t lawyers, but we can help you feel assured that the details of the forms are just right for filing. Properly prepared divorce paperwork can help you avoid problems later on.
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