In New York, prenuptial agreements are specifically authorized by Domestic Relations Law §236(B)(3). A prenuptial agreement (also referred to as an antenuptial or premarital agreement) is a contract entered into between parties prior to their marriage, usually to address such issues as spousal support, ownership and distributions of property in the event that the marriage ends in divorce. Additionally, a prenuptial agreement may address legal rights following the death of a party.
A prenuptial agreements helps to minimize the time and money expended in legal proceedings in the unfortunate event that a marriage ends in divorce, by reducing the amount of judicial intervention needed. In New York, there is a strong public policy in favor of allowing families to resolve issues of custody, support and property division without such intervention. Issues such as property distribution, which includes retirement benefits, real estate and business interests can be part of a prenuptial agreement.