Money & FInances

Why Having a Prenup Agreement Can Safeguard Your Future

Prenup Agreement The future is always unpredictable, which means that no one can foresee with accuracy what tomorrow holds. This uncertainty is why more couples are choosing to sign a prenup agreement before they walk down the aisle.

Perhaps this seems like a pessimistic thing to do, but it actually is eminently practical. It is a wonderfully easy way to ensure that the diamond ring that you inherited from your grandmother stays in your family. Additionally, your prenup can specify how the proceeds will be divided if the family home must be sold in the event of a divorce. 

While a prenup is used to protect current assets, it also may be possible to draft the contract so that it may safeguard future assets. Such protection is possible only if the agreement is carefully drafted. Typically, future assets will need to be defined and described in great detail. If they are not, then the contract may be invalidated by the court when one party tries to enforce it against the other.

Another way that a prenup can safeguard your future is by including details about debts. For instance, if one partner incurs a huge load of education loan debt during the marriage, it can be spelled out in the prenup that this debt will be that partner's sole responsibility in the event of a divorce. 

Similarly, the partners may want to define who will be liable for certain credit cards, loans or other debts if the marriage ends. This is simply wise planning on the part of the prospective spouses. No one wants to get saddled with a debt that does not belong to them, particularly in the wake of painful and expensive divorce proceedings. A heavy load of debt makes it difficult to move forward, and the person who incurred the debt reasonably can be expected to assume the responsibility for paying it.

Discussing how you will finance your future together before tying the knot will help to avoid conflict and allay any “surprises” in the future should either partner enter the marriage with certain preconceived expectations that may not have been discussed and addressed during your courtship. Of course, it is not possible to address every possible nuance and situation that could arise in the future, but having these tough conversations now and being clear about you and your partners’ philosophy around money can further safeguard your future together. 

In addition, prenup agreements can be used to protect future inheritances as well as family property, money or trust interests of which you may be the owner or beneficiary, and ensure it will stay in the family in the event of a future breakup or upon your death.

Prenuptial agreements not only typically contain provisions addressing what happens with property in the event of a future breakup, but they can also provide what assets are transferable to your partner upon death as well as provide adequate financial support in such event.  

Moreover, if you have children from a prior relationship, a prenup agreement is a great way to create clarity with your partner and protect your children and ensure that they are provided for as well.

And, if you or your partner have a pet, the agreement can contact provisions relating to their care and support. 

It is advisable to involve a knowledgeable attorney as soon as you decide that a prenup agreement is right for you. In order to be legally binding, it is necessary to define many highly detailed components, making the right kind of experience indispensable to the process. 

If you are still curious about your ability to safeguard future assets, contact the Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971. These experienced legal professionals place an emphasis on drafting a sensible prenup agreement that will protect your interests in any eventuality.

Why it is Important to Have Two Separate Attorneys When Creating a Prenup

Prenup - Separate AttorneysPrenuptial agreements are not just for wealthy individuals any longer. These days, a premarital agreement may be entered into for any number of reasons. The parents of one of the parties may insist upon a prenup, especially if they want to ensure where their own assets will be allocated after their death. Frequently, at least one of the parties to the agreement is the individual who requests it. This is likely because they want to protect assets that they acquired before getting married.

The basic concept behind a prenuptial agreement relates to the possibility of a divorce. No couple wants to think about a day when they no longer want to be together. Nonetheless, such a legal document can provide peace of mind while also leading the couple to consider and discuss issues that might not otherwise be introduced. Rather than driving a wedge between the couple, the process actually may bring them closer.

Most of the considerations that are tied up in a prenuptial agreement are financial. The terms of alimony and property division are decided in advance of the marriage. Of course, couples are free to include almost anything they like in their own agreement. The only thing that is prohibited in such contracts relates to (unborn) children. Questions of child support and custody may only be decided upon at the time of divorce. Including such items in a prenuptial agreement may invalidate portions (and in some cases the entirety) of the agreement.

It may be tempting for an engaged couple to seek the services of just one attorney for a prenuptial agreement. Nonetheless, it is almost always advisable for each partner to seek independent legal advice. This is not because the situation is adversarial or because one future spouse is trying to hide something from the other. Rather, securing independent legal counsel ensures that both parties are getting the fairest possible deal. In addition, having counsel for each of you removes any future claims of duress, claims of not understanding the agreement and lack of fairness. Commonly the courts will look to the conscionability of the agreement both at the time it is entered into and at the time it is enforced.  Having your own lawyer means that your interests are fully protected, and so are those of your future spouse.

If you have difficulty agreeing on the terms of the agreement, consider mediation in New York. This collaborative, constructive process makes for a positive experience. The outcome is a prenuptial agreement that is fair and beneficial to both parties.

If you are ready to learn more about prenuptial agreements in New York, contact the Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971. Their advice will ensure that you are prepared for anything that the future may hold.

 

Prenuptial Agreements for Same Sex Couples in New York

Prenupital Agreements for Same Sex Couples in New YorkIn 2011, same sex marriage in New York became legal. It was a happy day for many families across the state, and with the ability of same-sex couples from other states to get married in New York too, many people celebrated the legalization and took advantage of the newfound ability to become legally married. 

Gay or straight, no one gets married with a pessimistic attitude. Marriage is a happy and hopeful event, but it doesn't mean that some planning is not appropriate. A growing number of gay and lesbian couples are choosing to complete a prenuptial agreement prior to the ceremony. 

Regardless of their orientation, many couples balk at the idea of a prenuptial agreement. They are in love and committed to each other. Thinking about the possible breakdown of the relationship is difficult. Nonetheless, a prenuptial agreement can be seen as an act of love. 

A prenuptial agreement may protect one partner from the debts of the other. It also may ensure that children from prior relationships are supported and protected or that a family business can be maintained no matter what. 

Prenuptial agreements for gay and lesbian couples are much like the same agreements for straight couples. However, additional considerations may need to be taken into account if the couple lives in a state where same sex marriage is not yet legalized. This may make it difficult to have the prenuptial agreement recognized in that state. Accordingly, you would need an experienced New York prenuptial attorney to draft the agreement so that it would be enforceable regardless of where you live. 

Marriage laws in the U.S. are evolving, but they still have a way to go. Because same sex marriage is not legal at the federal level, questions of prenuptial agreements and estate planning may face additional complications. The best way to overcome these challenges is by working with an experienced attorney who has helped other same sex couples. 

The guidance and advice of an attorney may give you the peace of mind that you need as you move forward to a happy future. A well-drafted prenuptial agreement can ensure that your children are provided for, that your debts won't affect your spouse or resolve numerous other potential problems. 

If you have any questions about preuptial agreements for same sex couples in New York and any related family law matters, contact the Sabra Law Group at 646-472-7971 to schedule a consultation.

 

How the New Tax Law Will Impact Spousal Support Calculations in New York in January 2019

Spousal Support CalculationsChanges go into effect on January 1, 2019, that will impact spousal support payments for people who divorce in 2019. The signing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017 created changes that will impact couples who divorce after December 31, 2018.  The previous law made spousal support a tax deduction for the payor while it was taxable income for the payee. Beginning in January 2019, the payor will no longer be able to deduct these payments, and the recipient is no longer required to pay taxes on the income. 

This is a critical change that all couples who are considering divorce should take into account. Spousal support calculations in New York will change drastically in the new year. Here are some of the ramifications that may need to be weighed. 

Typically, the payor of spousal support does so because they have a larger income than the individual who receives the payments. If the payor no longer gets to deduct the spousal support payments before determining what their income tax due is, and instead, required to pay income taxes on the total; then there will be less money available to support the family while the government benefits from collecting more tax dollars. 

Under the old law, people who were paying spousal support frequently saved money on their taxes. This is because the amount that they paid in spousal support (maintenance) was deducted right off of the top of their taxable income.  Furthermore, because that they are taxed at a higher tax bracket, the tax dollars paid would have been more than, when reported as income by the recipient spouse (typically) taxed at a lower tax bracket, and thereby there was more money to share in the family. 

It may look as if the new tax law which goes into effect in January 2019 simply shifts the burden of paying taxes on spousal support payments from the payee to the payor, but the effects may be more far-reaching than that. The paying spouse is almost always subject to a higher tax rate than the receiving spouse.  Accordingly, after January 1, the payor will pay the taxes on the maintenance payments at their higher tax rate rather than the recipient paying the taxes at their lower rate. 
With the upcoming increasing tax burden on the payor (and hence, on the family), it seems logical that couples seeking a divorce may want to consider resolving their situation before December 31, 2018. 

 

Couples whose divorce proceedings are finalized in 2018 or who are already divorced will largely not be affected by the change. However, seeking any alteration to an existing spousal support agreement may result in being subject to the new 2019 tax law. 

Speak with a legal professional at the Sabra Law Group by calling 646-472-7971 today.

 

 

 

 

How to Plan for Retirement When Going Through a Divorce in New York

Divorce in New York

Going through a divorce can be a very difficult thing. This is especially true if you are nearing retirement. In such cases, you have to bear the risk of losing out on a significant portion of your savings. However, this does not need to be the case. With the right kind of legal guidance and prudent planning, you can protect your retirement fund. Here are some important factors to consider:

  1. Pre-Nuptial Agreement

In this day and age where almost half of all marriages in the US end in divorces, it is completely negligent to not have a prenup. While you might enter into a matrimonial bond purely based on romantic feelings, that does not exempt you from being prudent. However, most divorce cases do not have a prenup and if you are reading this, then, while it is probably already too late for a prenup, a post-nuptial agreement may be appropriate. Nevertheless, any person looking to get married should invest in a prenup that protects them, their assets and their children in case of divorce.

  1. Grounds for Divorce

During the hearing of a divorce case, it is very important to explain its cause. For example, if your spouse has had an adulterous relationship, then that is certainly grounds for divorce. Further, you can protect your finances from being split up with your former spouse. However, you are going to need sound professional advice in order to make that happen.

  1. The Agreement

It may happen that you want to get a divorce, but your spouse does not. Or it can be the case that your spouse has filed for divorce and now you might lose part of your savings. In such situations, you should seek out legal help as soon as possible. The details of every case are unique as are the people who are going to be advocating for each side. The best way to come out on top is to hire reputable and experienced divorce lawyers who can negotiate a favorable divorce agreement on your behalf.

Where Can You Get Legal Help to Plan for Retirement and Divorce in New York?

Sabra Law Group is one of the leading divorce specialists in New York. Sabra has helped countless clients resolve their divorces with the least impact possible on their retirement plans. Ensure your freedom and future security comes at the least possible price. Call 646-472-7971 and book an appointment with Sabra today!

The Pro’s and Con’s of Moving in Together Before Marriage

pro's and cons of living together before marriage

 

There are so many different views on moving in together before marriage.  Some people believe it’s not a good idea to live together before marriage, whereas; others are not opposed to it.  Making a decision to move in together before marriage is just as big of a decision as making the commitment to your partner.

 

Let’s Consider Some of the Benefits of Moving in Together Before Marriage

 

  1. The shared expense for rent or perhaps no rent depending on the situation: when you’re living separately, both of you are paying rent or a mortgage.  From a financial perspective, living together makes sense.
  2. The Good, the bad, and the ugly:  when you live with someone you will really see them for who they really are.  With that comes the good, the bad, and the ugly.  So you really get to see who they really are before deciding to tie the know, and it may actually save you from getting a divorce in the future by getting out before it’s too late.
  3. You will learn if you can tolerate each other 24/7: dating is very different from living together.  You can date someone yet not know the real person.  When you’re living with someone, it is difficult to hide everything. 
  4. You can have more fun together doing everyday things such as cooking together, gardening or playing board games.

 

There Are Also Some Disadvantages of Living Together

 

  1. If they are getting everything without putting a ring on it, they may never put a ring on it.   Even if you’re already engaged prior to living together, the marriage may take longer to happen.
  2. Domestic chores take the fun out of living together.
  3. If finances are not discussed in advance, living together can cause stress and arguments over finances. On the other hand, living together may force the issue, and you can see if the two of you can work out your differences.
  4. It may lessen the excitement of getting married. The only difference in your relationship when you get married will be the rings and the marriage license.

 

There are certainly both advantages and disadvantages of living together.  The most important thing to consider is to do what feels right for you.  There is no right or wrong answer.  If you have questions regarding prenuptial agreements, or how to discuss finances (and other challenging topics) with your future spouse, contact Sabra Law Group today at (646) 472-7971.

How to Get Comfortable Talking About Money Matters with Your Future Spouse

Handle Finances during a Divorce - Money Matters

 

One of the most common reasons that marriages end in divorce is due to money or financial matters.  The more comfortable you can be at the beginning of a relationship discussing money; the better it will be for sustaining a healthy relationship. 

 

If you are uncomfortable discussing finances with your future spouse, it is best to start with baby steps.  If you are planning on getting married, finances are of primary importance to be discussed prior to marriage.

 

Below Are Some Steps You Can Take to Get Over Your Anxiety When It Comes to Discussing Finances

 

  1. Make a List:  write down all the important issues that need to be discussed and then write down what your desired outcome is.
  2. Figure Out the Living Arrangements: determine who will pay for rent or the mortgage and if living expenses will be shared equally or not.
  3. Don’t Discuss All the Finances in One Meeting: pick one aspect of finances to discuss and come to an agreement on that before moving on to the next topic.  By approaching the situation in a systematic way, it will eliminate confusion and conflict. Once you have tackled a difficult topic, set up another day to discuss the next topic. 
  4. Consult with a Financial Planner: a financial planner may be able to best guide you on how to maximize your money and grow it.  They may also be able to advise you on investment vehicles that are aligned with your comfort level.
  5. Determine if a Prenup is Necessary:  have a candid discussion prior to getting married about a Prenuptial Agreement and whether it makes sense to have one.  If you and your partner are not sure if a Prenuptial Agreement is right for you or why you would consider having one, read our blog article about that here and here and consult an experienced New York Prenup Attorney who can help you to understand whether a Prenup is appropriate for you and your partner.

 

Couples who communicate openly with each other are more likely to stay together.  This is why it is important to discuss even the most difficult topics.  Furthermore, once you have had this conversation a few times, it will become easier to have these types of conversations in the future.

 

Do You Have Questions About Money Matters or Prenuptial Agreements?  

 

Contact Sabra Law Group today for a confidential consultation at (646) 472-7971. Sabra has years of experience helping couples setting up the right type of Prenup for their lifestyle. Call her now ar 646-472-7971.