In previous articles, I have written about prenups—legal agreements made before the wedding—and some of the many reasons why people may choose to have them:
- They have assets from prior to the marriage
- Parents may want their children to have a prenup because of property they may inherit
- The have a second marriage and have children from a prior marriage
I have also written about postnups, which are legal agreements made after the wedding. These could be the result of the parties not having the time to do a prenup, or because they want to have agreements in place regarding assets, a business they may own, or even regarding their children.
So what are No-Nups?
These are legal agreements made by couples embarking on a life together but are not getting married! Couples who live together, may or may not have children together, share a home, bank accounts, expenses and many of the same things that married couples share. They may buy property together or separately. One party may support the other financially. They may start a business together.
These couples can create legal agreements that will set forth what would happen in case they separate, or if one of the parties dies.
- What happens to their joint property?
- What happens if they have liabilities, joint or separate?
- How will they share custody and time with their children?
- How will they handle any other issues that are important to them?
In the same way that divorcing couples will have to make decisions, separating non-married couples will have to do the same.
The No-Nup allows them to have some of these important conversations and create an agreement ahead of time which will be the guideline for their separation or in case of one’s death.
As with prenups and postnups, if a separation/divorce occurs, parties are free to not follow part or all of the decisions they put in place, as long as they both agree to do so. If they have a difference of opinion on making changes, they can go back to the original no-nup and follow the initial guidelines of their legal document.
Agreements regarding a separation, when one is in love and feels nothing can go wrong, are difficult to consider, but it may be better to have something in place and never make use of it, rather than be faced with a crisis and have to make difficult and emotional decisions on-the-fly.
jennifer safian. divorce and family mediator divorce and family mediation upper east side of manhattan (nyc) new york, ny (212) 472-8626 email@example.com connect on