Published at May 1, 2019 by administrator.
Prenuptial agreements might not inspire romance, but they’re highly practical and can help couples think through the financial implications of tying the knot. So, what is a Prenuptial Agreement? Let’s talk about what the agreement covers, who might need one, how to make sure it’s legally binding, and when an attorney can help.
A prenuptial agreement is a written contract created by two people who plan to marry. In brief, the agreement lists the property and debts of each person and specifies their property rights in case of divorce. It’s important to note that the courts will not allow for any provisions related to child custody, support, or visitation.
Although the term prenuptial agreement is common, the state of Florida calls them premarital agreements. Couples can also create an agreement during the marriage, rather than before. This is known as a postnuptial, postmarital, or marital agreement. The purpose is the same; the only difference is the timing.
Although prenuptial agreements are often associated with the rich and famous, there are many valid reasons that the average person might consider one. With couples marrying later (and multiple times), there’s more legal complexity than ever.
Florida is a “community property” state, which means upon divorce, your spouse has the right to a 50/50 split of all marital property. If you’d prefer a different arrangement, you can define this within a prenuptial agreement. This is particularly important if:
If your future spouse has significant debts, you may want to protect yourself. Creditors can go after the marital property even when one spouse is the debtor. To avoid this, you can clearly state that you’re not liable for any debts incurred by your spouse in his/her name, either before or after marriage.
Many couples entering into a second marriage want to ensure that their children from their first marriage will receive a specified portion of their inheritance – whether that’s a family heirloom, property, or financial assets. You can lay this out in a prenuptial agreement to protect their rights. However, it’s important to also create and secure other documents such as wills and living trusts.
A standard Prenuptial Agreement outlines how you will split your assets, wealth, and debt after a divorce. However, you should customize your agreement to your needs. Here are some examples of terms:
It’s up to you how detailed you want to be. Some couples choose to include language that prevents either spouse from making derogatory remarks about the other on social media. Other might specify who retains custody of any pets. It’s a personal decision.
In the state of Florida, prenuptial agreements are governed by Title VI-Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes. In summary, the agreement must:
The Statues are fairly open in terms of what can be included in a prenuptial agreement. They state, “Any matter, including their personal rights and obligations, not in violation of either the public policy of this state or a law imposing a criminal penalty.” In other words, anything that’s not illegal or unreasonable. They also point out that the right of a child to support may not be adversely affected by the agreement.
The short answer is yes. However, it’s not common. The Florida Statutes also provide guidance in this area.
They want to see proof that:
There are certainly Prenuptial Agreement templates online, but working with an attorney has a few benefits you may want to consider.
Although no one wants to think about getting divorced as they approach their wedding day, prenuptial agreements also go a long way in reducing the cost, length of time, and frustration of divorce. You’ll have most of the decisions already in writing, at a time when trust isn’t an issue.
If you’re considering a prenuptial agreement, let us put our experience to work for you. We can help you draft a solid agreement that protects both of you. Contact us for a consultation.
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