No relationship is perfect, and they are certainly something couples must work on throughout their duration. However, when it becomes clear that no amount of effort and changes will make a marriage last, married couple will seek to get a divorce. Because this is a reality that roughly half of all married couples face, it is not uncommon for couples to prepare for this fate by drafting a prenuptial agreement.
Although it takes the romance out of it, marriage is essentially a contract. This means that the terms contained in the document are binding between the two spouses once they are married. This legal marital agreement stipulates certain terms of the marriage. It has the ability to set limits on alimony and even designate certain property as separate, protecting it from property division in the event of a divorce. However, in order for these documents to be enforceable during dissolution, they must be valid.
What makes a New York prenuptial agreement valid? Specific guidelines regarding prenups are outlined in the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act; however, New York is one of 24 states that have not adopted this act. Nonetheless, the courts in New York will enforce a premarital agreement if it is determined to be fair, entered into by his or her own free will, entered into with full financial disclosure, entered into using independent counsel and properly acknowledge and witnessed by a third party.
Thus, if one of these do not exist, it might be possible to challenge a prenuptial agreement. If the document was not properly entered into or is found unenforceable, this could present challenges in the divorce process. Thus, it is important to take the time to fully understand your rights when entering into a prenup. It is also equally important to ensure it is valid when it is executed during dissolution. This could completely change what your divorce decree will look like and what you could walk away from the marriage with.