If a couple in New York is considering a prenup, they should first become familiar with the legislation and requirements that are necessary for the state to recognize and enforce the agreement. If the couple later divorces, a prenup can make the process easier and more efficient.
In 26 states, prenups and postnups are signed under the Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act. This act makes it possible for couples to choose which under which state’s rules their prenup will be signed, as long as the state is one where either one of them has lived, plans to live or plans to marry, and is part of the 26 states that have adopted the act. New York, however, has not adopted this act, but the state does have its own rules for prenups.
New York state prenup rules
In New York, prenups will be recognized and enforced by the state if they meet certain criteria. These include:
• The prenup is fair and balanced
• Each party had independent legal counsel
• The parties both entered into the contract freely
• Each party provided full disclosure of information
• The contract is witnessed by a third party
What can a prenup include?
A prenup, which once recognized in the state will remain valid during the life of the marriage, should establish how property will be divided into separate and marital property, how support for children of previous marriages will be handled and if and how spousal support will be provided and under what conditions. Child custody and child support topics of any children the parties might have jointly are not addressed under a prenup.
Once the prenup has been drafted, it must be signed by both parties and notarized so that it can be recognized by the state. However, the prenup might be challenged if some inconsistencies are found, such as one party being forced to sign the prenup or information being withheld during the process.