A Prenuptial Agreement or an Antenuptial Agreement is a formal agreement signed by a couple prior to their marriage. A prenuptial agreement or “prenup” as they are often called, establishes the property and financial rights or each spouse in the event of a later divorce. Prenuptial agreements are often entered into in second marriages where the parties have children from prior marriage, or to protect the assets of a wealthy spouse or a family business.
While couples, preparing for their marriage, not wanting to consider the possibility of a divorce, often find it difficult to understand the necessity of entering into a Prenuptial Agreement. Instead of perceiving the agreement as contract about divorce, it should be looked at as a business contract.
When business partners enter into a partnership agreement, the agreement sets forth the terms of what would occur if the partnership was dissolved. A Prenuptial Agreement is the same thing. As New York State recognizes that parties are entitled to enter into their own marital agreements rather than be bound by the laws dictating divorce such as the Domestic Relations Law, it would be wise to ensure that if the marriage was to be "dissolved", the terms have already been established, making the divorce less contentious. .