A Prenuptial Agreements is a legal contract that a couple signs before the marriage that determines who gets what in the event of a divorce. Florida is an equitable distribution state, so, in the event of a divorce assets are divvied according to what the court deems fair, provided there is no Prenuptial Agreement. The judge would take into consideration things such as the length of the marriage, whether there are children, and the couple’s age, health, job skills and other factors.
For some people, the idea of a Prenuptial Agreement makes them uncomfortable. But with about one in three of all first marriages ending in divorce, and 50 percent of second or third marriages ending poorly, a Prenuptial Agreement is actually smart financial planning. Think of it as a business arrangement or as an insurance policy to help remove some of the emotion that’s naturally involved. Marriage is not just an emotional and physical union, it’s also a financial union. A Prenuptial Agreement and the discussions that go along with it can help ensure the financial well-being of the marriage.
Prenuptial agreements can be highly useful for people entering into second marriages who have children from the first marriage. An agreement can balance a spouse’s loyalty to the new spouse and with the spouse’s concern and loyalty to the children of the first marriage. If you don’t want a divorce court to make the final decision about how your assets will be divided, a prenuptial can protect you. Without a Prenuptial Agreement you’re letting your financial future be determined by a third party.
Both the bride-to-be and the groom should each have their own attorney when drafting and signing a Prenuptial Agreement. This is essential to protect both future spouses, and is also essential to the future enforceability of the agreement. The enforceability of an agreement may completely hinge on both sides having an attorney. Plus, a good lawyer can help you negotiate an agreement that fits your future plans.
The financial contract at the heart of the Prenuptial Agreement involves the largest financial settlement you will ever make in your life, because it includes all property — past, present, and future; inherited, earned, and unearned, of each of the spouses.