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Couple Holding Hands

Essential Documents for Couples

Pre/Postnuptial Agreements

Both Prenuptial and Postnuptial agreements in New York are designed to supersede the state’s equitable property division laws in case of a legal separation or divorce. In New York, there is a presumption that property acquired during the marriage is marital property, except for inheritances, personal injury/worker’s compensation awards for pain and suffering and third-party gifts, so long as these are not comingled. By entering into a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement, you can exclude certain property from the marital estate.

Domestic Partnership Agreements

For committed couples who do not wish to marry, New York offers a legal relationship called a domestic partnership. Couples in a domestic partnership can benefit from family leave for bereavement and childcare, and are eligible for health benefits, life insurance and death benefits. A partner can also visit their domestic partner in hospitals, prisons and other institutions. A domestic partner can be an agent on all health care directives and on a Power of Attorney, an executor for a Will, and a trustee for a Trust. However, a domestic partnership provides no asset protection. A Domestic Partnership Agreement will detail joint and separate assets, child care arrangements and visitation should the couple separate, long-term care duties and responsibilities (if any), and how real estate will be titled (joint tenancy with right of survivorship or tenancy in common).

Legal Guidance For Couples

All of these agreements require that each person be represented by their own attorney to overcome the presumption of undue influence. All of these agreements also require sworn full disclosure of assets to provide full financial transparency.


The Law Office of Sylvie Richards, PLLC will represent you to negotiate a fair agreement in a non-confrontational manner, and will help prepare the financial disclosure documents to satisfy the law and your partner's mind.

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