One of the biggest laments of engaged couples, whether it happened prior to or during the pandemic, is the unknown of their actual wedding plans. Some couples chose to push forward, trim down their guest lists and expectations and have their wedding, and some are waiting for it be “normal.”
For the couples waiting for their normal, it leaves them in a unique position to focus more on their future marriage. How will it work and look from a financial perspective? Maybe they were in the midst of house hunting and had planned on being married, but now they will be technically “single” for the purposes of the purchase.
Married couples purchasing a home together in New York have a legal presumption that they are “tenants by the entirety” which means that if something were to happen to one, the other spouse would inherit the whole house.
Couples that are not married have the option of purchasing the home as “joint tenants with rights of survivorship” and is the same effect as being married. If this designation is not made, the couple is considered tenants in common and their rights to their property remain separate. Once the parties are married, this property does not necessarily convert to “marital property” by default and the court may still consider it separate property for purposed of equitable distribution during a divorce action.
A good way to resolve these types of issues, while waiting on your dream wedding, is a prenuptial agreement or just a simple consult with a matrimonial attorney.