What Types of Assets Can Be Protected by Prenuptial Agreements?

Looking at the state of relationships and marriage in our modern, complicated  world, one can’t help but think of the words of the venerated musical prophet Kanye West when he preaches “We want prenup! We want prenup!

We get that he’s talking about protecting one’s assets, but what exactly can be protected by a prenuptial agreement in New York?

Prenuptial Agreements in New York

A prenuptial agreement, or prenup, is a contract signed by the future married couple that sets out the terms for dividing property and assets should they divorce or one of them dies. It is also known as an antenuptial agreement, meaning literally, before the marriage.

Essentially a prenuptial agreement hashes out all of the issues that would be decided by a judge in the event that a divorce case goes to court. The two parties share with each other the details about their finances and then decide what rights, if any, each of them have to the other’s assets in the event of divorce or death. 

What Assets Does a New York Prenuptial Agreement Cover?

Does my baseball card collection count as an asset? Or my William Shatner NFT? It does, and your BitCoin too. Basically anything you own or have rights to that has value or is a source of income is included. The prenup can cover property that you had when you were single, property acquired during the marriage, and property that will be acquired after the marriage. Other property rights can include:

  • Debt (car, student loan, mortgage)
  • Inheritances
  • Gifts
  • Real estate
  • Income
  • Earnings from investments
  • Future interests in investments or business.

Separate Property and Marital Property

In the prenuptial agreement, property is designated as separate property or marital property.

Anything of value that you bring into the marriage is separate property. If you want to keep it separate, meaning in your name only, the prenuptial agreement should specifically say what property is for each of you. If for some reason you don’t keep the property separate it might be considered marital property down the road in case of divorce. 



So, if you bought a house before you got married, and the two of you live in the house during the marriage, a prenuptial agreement will help make sure that the house stays as your sole property if you should divorce. 

Property and cash obtained during the marriage will be deemed to be marital property. This includes:

  • Land and homes purchased during the marriage
  • Personal property, like vehicles (cars, boats, planes, helicopters),  furniture, and artwork purchased during the marriage;
  • Cash, stocks and bonds, bank accounts, retirement accounts, and  pensions that were acquired while married
  • Gifts given to each other

Talk Prenuptials with an Experienced New York Divorce Lawyer

Talking about these matters before marriage may not be romantic, but is a smart and practical thing to do. 

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Founded by top-rated NYC Family Lawyer, Daniel Yaniv, Yaniv & Associates is a modern, tech-enabled law firm headquartered in NYC. We are fanatically focused on making it easy for people to get top-quality legal service at affordable prices, without the unnecessary complexity and time-consuming hassles that are too common with most firms. If you're contemplating a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement for your marriage, reach out and our friendly, knowledgeable team will answer your questions and guide you through the process.

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Topics from this blog: Prenuptial Agreements Estate Planning Asset Protection