How to Use a Prenup as a Financial Planning Tool

Financial Planning ToolIn recent years, there's been a trend toward couples marrying later in life. This means that they may come to the relationship with children or considerable debts as well as assets. 

Moreover, they may already have a budgeting style that suits them and numerous financial goals that they hope to achieve. A prenuptial agreement is an essential tool for these couples, not so much as protection against a future breakup, but as a means through which financial plans may be discussed. 

Unless you and your intended have already combined your finances (assets and debts too), you both may be in for surprises as you begin to explore each other's attitudes and approaches to money. One of you may be shocked to learn that the other does not have a budget, isn't particularly concerned about saving for retirement or has massive student loan debts and a credit score that horrifies you. It is far preferable to acknowledge and begin working on these issues prior to saying "I do" than while on the honeymoon. 

The weeks and months that lead up to a walk down the aisle offer the perfect opportunity for laying open your financial situation to each other. Have a talk about how much debt each of you has. Do you have a plan for paying it off? If so, how much of a bite does that take out of your monthly budget? 

Also, consider each other's assets. One of you may have amassed a significant retirement account while the other has virtually nothing. Is a new IRA in your soon-to-be spouse's future? If so, how will it be funded, and how much will go into it each year? 

When you begin having discussions like these, then you can use a prenup as a financial planning tool. Maybe you recognize that your huge student loan debt shouldn't be the responsibility of your partner if you should ever split. A prenup could stipulate that you'll leave with whatever remains of that debt should the marriage end. Similarly, your spouse may want to be able to protect their considerable retirement account and provide for way to recoup an inadvertent commingling of inheritance money. 

Using a prenup as a financial planning tool is a fantastic way to establish money goals as a couple. Take time to consider the lifestyle you want to lead as you discuss the financial future with your intended. 

If you'd like to know more about using a prenup as a financial planning tool, then contact Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971 to schedule your Discovery Session.


Consider a Prenup While Celebrating Love This Valentine’s Day

Prenup in New York In the heady first weeks and months of a romance, it's easy to have blind faith in love with your chosen partner. Falling in love and discussing the exciting details of your future together is a lot of fun.  It may never occur to you that someday you might need mediation in New York as you negotiate a painful divorce.  

None of this is meant to discourage you from celebrating love this Valentine's Day. On the contrary, love can be one of life's most fascinating, meaningful and rewarding journeys. It is the foundation upon which new families are built, and it has the power to utterly change your life. 

Nonetheless, life is a difficult and ever-changing process. Individuals change with it. In some cases, the two people who make a marriage are able to accommodate and adapt to the changes in the other, but this is not possible in all situations. Love can keep people together regardless of life’s ups and downs.  For others, the unromantic parts of marriage and life, in general, can sabotage and destroy what was a loving partnership.

When things begin to go wrong in a marriage or long-term partnership, things can deteriorate quickly. What used to feel like a blessed and magical union now is fraught with pain, anger, and frustration. Couples who used to agree about most things now fight over inconsequential matters, and when it comes to bigger things like assets and property, it's not unusual for both of the former partners to vow to fight to the death to see things distributed their way. 

Is there anything that couples can do today so that they can sustain a life-long and everlasting romance that withstands the tests of time?

The more authentic and upfront you are about your intentions and visions of a future together, the more likely it is to create the foundation for a lasting marriage. Even though we want to believe that “love is all you need” and “all you need is love” to have an enduring and lasting marriage, it is essential to have open and honest communication about all aspects of your marriage.  One of the vehicles that can help couples to create the right foundation for such communication is through pre-marriage meetings and consultations with clergy or other professionals.  Another vehicle is a rational, well-thought-out prenuptial agreement whereby you can talk about and discuss how you will manage your finances together.

Many couples have the misconception that by simply maintaining all of their financial accounts separately, that the other spouse cannot make any claims to it in the event the relationship doesn’t work out.

That’s why talking with an experienced prenuptial attorney in your state can help you create the right plan for you and the future family you plan to create, and it will become the blueprint making it possible to have a cleaner, less painful break -up in the future. 

Prenups can be as complex or as straightforward as the parties wish. Those with considerable assets or business interests will want to ensure that these are protected, and people who have children from prior relationships may want to guarantee that their children receive proper consideration and care regardless of what happens in the future. 

It may even be possible to include agreements to deal with one another amicably in a mediation in New York in the event the couple decides to separate. Mediation is the low-cost, less acrimonious process by which many decisions pertaining to divorce may be made. Mediation is one way to demonstrate love and respect for your entire family during a particularly difficult time so that you all may begin healing sooner. 

Consider a Prenup to Protect You, Your Partner and Your Future

If you are celebrating love this Valentine's Day by getting engaged, while your heart may be in the clouds, don't lose your head too. A sensible prenup protects you, your partner and any children that you may have. Contact the Sabra Law Group at 646-472-7971 to discover your options.

How to Bring Up a Prenup When Getting Engaged During the Holidays

Engaged During the HolidaysMany people decide that the holiday season is the ideal time to get engaged.  The particular holiday doesn’t really matter, it could be on Hanukah, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve.  What matters is how do you bring up the sensitive topic of a “Prenuptial Agreement” during the holiday season. 


It is to be expected that people want the holiday season to be full of joy and as stress-free as possible.  This is why the thought of bringing up a Prenup can definitely cause some anxiety. 


Follow the Five Steps Below to Bring Up a Prenup When Getting Engaged During the Holiday Season:


  1. Make a list: write down all the reasons why it makes sense to get a Prenup and why it would be beneficial to both of you.  Furthermore, on a separate piece of paper write down what objections you anticipate your fiancée may have. 
  2. Provide reassurance:  that a Prenup is not necessarily a bad thing and that it is meant to protect the financial future of both spouses.
  3. Encourage open communication:  open communication means that you encourage your partner to be honest about their feelings and that you genuinely listen to them (without judgment). 
  4. Timing is key:  It is advisable not to bring up the Prenup conversation on an actual holiday or when either of you are stressed about other matters or have had a rough day at work.  And when you do talk about it, it is a good idea to discuss this topic at a neutral place – like a coffee shop or sitting on a bench at the park, but not your home, favorite restaurant or other “special” place that has meaning for the two of you.
  5. Talking about a prenuptial agreement is always better sooner rather than later.  For instance, if you haven’t talked about it while you were dating, then talking about it now is a good time.  Explore conversations that would be “hypothetical” in nature but allow both of you to openly discuss what would happen if you ever were to split up.  Who would get the house, who would get the family pet?  Who would get the investment properties?  This process allows the both of you to start thinking about the importance of a Prenup and hopefully come to terms with the idea of developing a Prenup to protect each other’s financial well-being in the event of a future breakup. 


If you have questions about a Prenup agreement in New York or any other family law related matters, contact Sabra Divorce Law today to schedule a consultation at (646) 472-7971. 

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 Long Should You Be Engaged to Someone Before Getting Married?

prenuptial agreement in New York

There are no set time limits on how long you should date someone before getting engaged or how long you should be engaged before marriage. The one important factor to remember is that the length of time you spend with someone determines how well you get to know them. The longer you know someone, it gives you the opportunity to see them in multiple situations; good or bad.

Furthermore, it allows you to see how they handle stress, and it gives you a gauge for determining if they are being genuine with you or putting on an act.

According to The Knot Publication, an average engagement is about 14.5 months. This number indicates that the couple has enough time to plan a wedding while handling day-to-day obligations such as their work and family.

Another study conducted by Emory University in 2015, found some interesting statistics:

  • Waiting one to two years significantly drops the likelihood of divorce by 20%
  • Waiting three or more years drops the likelihood of divorce even more by 50%

It is reasonable to conclude from this study that the longer a couple dates before marriage, the higher the likelihood of a successful marriage.

While you are in the engagement stage, it is also advisable to ask your fiancée various questions that will help you determine compatibility as well as if you have common life goals.

Some Questions to Ask Each Other:

  1. Do you want kids?
  2. How many kids do you want?
  3. What city will we live in once married?
  4. What religion will the children be raised as?
  5. How will the finances be handled?
  6. Who will take care of the kids and who will be the breadwinner
  7. Will you still keep separate bank accounts or will everything become a joint account?
  8. What are your non-negotiables?
  9. Where you see yourself 5-7 years from now?
  10. Will you make time for your spouse and prioritize them or will your career/work come first?
  11. Will there be a Prenuptial Agreement?

Getting Married? Need Assistance with a Prenup?

If you are engaged or plan on getting engaged soon, you might want to consider a prenuptial agreement to protect yourself and your assets. For more information, contact Sabra Law Group today at (646) 472-7971 for a confidential consultation.

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.


How the New Tax Law May Impact Pre-existing Prenuptial Agreements in New York

Prenuptial Agreements in New York

A recent change in federal tax law may bring an unpleasant surprise to certain New Yorkers. With the signing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017, couples who divorce after 2018 may find that the terms of their prenuptial agreement aren't quite what they expected them to be. 

Prenuptial agreements in New York are much like similar agreements signed in other states. Couples enter into these contracts before getting married in order to protect certain assets and to ensure both parties a more equitable distribution of assets should their union end in divorce. Frequently, these agreements are the result of careful consideration on both sides. Each party understands whether or not spousal support will be received. Moreover, stipulations regarding how much money will be paid in spousal support and how long the payments will go on may be part of the contract. 

Under earlier tax laws, the former spouse who had to pay spousal support could deduct the expense from their income, thereby lowering their overall tax liability and the party receiving the spousal support had to declare the payments as taxable income. This significantly reduced the out-of-pocket amount for the payor spouse. 

The new law states that spousal support payments are no longer tax deductible by the payor spouse. Additionally, the recipient no longer has to claim spousal support payments as taxable income. The result is that the payor spouse loses far more money out of pocket and that the receiving spouse gets a much larger amount of money than they were expecting. 

This new law applies to all existing prenuptial agreements. Accordingly, couples who legally separate or divorce after 2018 will find that their contracts will not be honored as they are written. Instead, they will be subject to the new tax code, and that could significantly impact the financial picture of both parties. 

Whether you and your spouse are happily married or considering divorce or separation, now is the perfect time to negotiate a postnuptial agreement. With mediation in New York, it is easy to draft new terms that amend those in the prenuptial agreement. Doing so now may save many headaches (and expense) in the future. 

Mediation in New York is just one way to arrive at a mutually beneficial postnuptial agreement. If you'd like to know more about postnuptial and prenuptial agreements in New York, call Sabra Law Group at 646-472-7971 to schedule a consultation. With the help of a qualified legal professional, these matters can be resolved efficiently and amicably.

Manhattan Prenup Attorney Provides Practical Tips on What You Can Do to Protect Your Inheritance from Division in a Divorce

When people get divorced, one of the first steps toward determining the outcome in a divorce is to identify assets that are marital assets and those that are separate property assets.  The New York statutes define inheritance as a separate property.  However, there are various exceptions to this general rule.  Accordingly, it is advisable to get informed and to take certain precautions if one would like to protect their inheritance assets from being subject to division in the event of divorce.  Inheritance assets can include money, fine art, vacation homes, rare collections or even gifts from a former partner.


3 Tips to Protect Your Inheritance in a Divorce


  1. Get a Prenup Agreement Before the Marriage: a Prenup can help protect your inheritance whether it pertains to real estate investments, rare art collections or family heirlooms.  More and more couples are getting a Prenup just as one would get an insurance policy. It is a “just in case” instead of later having to face losing precious assets and even family heirlooms. 


Savvy couples today realize that just because they are getting a Prenup it does not mean that their marriage will not last, but they are being sensible about the ramifications that could follow in the event that a marriage does not work out. 


If you are not sure if a Prenup is the right option for you, it is best to consult an experienced Manhattan Prenup Attorney and get answers to all of your questions.  Simply consulting with a Prenup attorney does not obligate you to get a Prenup, however, it does give you the knowledge you need in order to make a well-informed decision pertaining to your future and your financial welfare. 


  1. Keep Important Documents in a Safe Place: if you have paperwork that spells out what you will be inheriting or what assets you have acquired prior to your marriage – it is advisable to keep them in a safe spot such as a safe deposit box. This ensures that in the event of a robbery, fire or natural disaster, you will have quick and easy access to legal documents that substantiate what truly belongs to you.  


  1. Consult a Trust Advisor: consider getting a trust to safeguard your assets and to have full control of what your children will get in the event that something happens to you or your spouse.  An experienced trust advisor can counsel you on the best type of trust that fits your needs. 


  1. Maintain Separate Bank Accounts: even though you may think it is a good idea to merge all of your bank accounts, it is best to keep your personal account as a separate account. It is ok to have a joint account with your spouse; however, you may also want to have a separate account to protect your earnings and any assets that belong solely to you. 


Questions About Protecting Your Inheritance? Consult a Manhattan Prenup Attorney Today


Contact the Sabra Law Group today at (646) 472-7971 for a confidential consultation. 


New York Divorce Lawyer Explains Why You Should Discuss How to Handle Debt After the Separation

Divorce is undoubtedly a stressful time, however, it is important to handle all aspects of a separation including how to handle debt after a separation. 


Don’t Delay in Handling Shared Accounts


Keep in mind that any accounts that you have that are shared with your spouse such as credit cards, joint bank accounts, and mortgages may negatively impact your credit if your spouse fails to make on-time payments or stops making payments altogether.  The best way to protect yourself is to contact the issuer of the joint accounts and have the accounts closed or separated. 


In most states, the mortgage is usually given to the spouse that has to take care of the children, however, laws may vary from state to state as well as any unique circumstances. A reasonable solution to handling the mortgage portion of the separation is to sell the property, pay off the mortgage and split any remaining sale proceeds. 


Watch Your Finances


In order to build your individual credit and maintain or increase your credit score, make it a point to check your credit score on a monthly basis.  By checking your credit, you ensure that there are not any inappropriate marks on your score that may have been placed in error.  Furthermore, it helps detect identity theft early on so you can prevent it from turning into a bigger problem. Keep in mind that your soon to be ex-spouse has access to private information such as your social security number, bank account info, and perhaps even credit card numbers. It is better to be more cautious than have to deal with a bigger problem in the end. 


Set a Budget and Stick to It


Since going through a divorce means that you will no longer have a dual-income or joint accounts, it is wise to determine the right budget for your lifestyle.  The first priority will be to calculate the needs of the children from the most basic needs such as housing, food, transportation, car insurance, health insurance and any tuition for children’s schooling (if applicable) as well as any additional expenses such as after school activities, tutoring, and other expenses for the children.  Knowing these will be helpful in determining the full amount of child support that will need to be determined.  


Consult a New York Divorce Lawyer for Assistance


If you need help with division of assets or financial accounts, it is best to consult a savvy divorce attorney who can guide you in the right direction. Contact Sabra Law Group today to learn more about how we can help you prepare for all aspects of divorce at (626) 472-7971 and to schedule a consultation.