Most couples in the White Plains, New York area are not considering divorce while they are planning their wedding. But many financial advisors will tell those planning on a marriage together to plan for the possibility of divorce and look to protect their personal assets.
Some are turned off at the concept of divorce planning, but others see such planning as an unfortunate but necessary form of protection. It can be a form of insurance, one hopes it is never necessary, but it can prevent financial catastrophe if the worst comes to bear.
One way to plan for certain contingencies is the prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement. Both are agreements that separate property if the parties divorce or otherwise separate. As the names imply, a prenuptial is executed before marriage. A postnuptial agreement is executed during the marriage.
There are certainly other reasons for financial considerations prior to taking marital vows. A couple may choose not to commingle income and property received by inheritance or family gift. If one party is a spendthrift or has financial troubles, the other may seek to shield his or her assets from the spouse's creditors. An illness to one spouse can have a serious effect on the spouse's finances, and the spouse may plan to protect his or her own assets.
Hiring an experienced attorney is a beneficial step in planning for divorce. In any of these types of planning, state laws will have a great effect on the path chosen. Prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements are governed by state law. If the agreement is inconsistent with state law, the agreement can be nullified and unenforceable. If nullified, the assets of the marriage, including premarital assets and assets received by inheritance will be divided by state law. To minimize the risk of this happening, it may be wise to hire an experienced family law attorney.