Depending upon your personal circumstances, a prenuptial agreement may make sense for you and your spouse-to-be. An experienced Fort Lauderdale prenuptial agreement attorney can help create an agreement that works for you.
The decision to enter into a prenuptial agreement is a very personal decision, to be made by the couple. Divorce has become increasingly common in America, with second marriages facing an even higher rate of divorce. Particularly where one spouse-to-be has substantial assets, or earns significant income over a relatively short period of time (such as athletes or entertainers), prenuptial agreements may make sense for the couple.
A prenuptial agreement should be entered with an understanding of existing legal principles that apply to marriages, and particularly those rules that apply to the division of property upon divorce. As a general rule, the property that a spouse brings into a marriage remains that spouse’s separate property during the marriage and upon divorce. Personal gifts and inheritance are also considered separate property on divorce. Marital property, on the other hand, is that property which the couple accumulated during the marriage. This includes earnings of both spouses during the marriage, as well as other forms of income during the marriage. Marital property is divided between the spouses at the time of divorce through a process called equitable distribution.
Prenuptial agreements – also known as antenuptial agreements, premarital agreements, or prenups – help bring security and peace of mind. Prenuptial agreements are extremely flexible. The agreement operates as a contract between the spouses, and can be drafted to address many unique situations and circumstances between the couple. Typically, however, the primary concern of prenuptial agreements is the handling of the property of each spouse upon divorce, separation, or death of either spouse. This can include both separate and marital property.
While prenuptial agreements are flexible, certain rules do apply. Florida has adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, which includes a number of legal requirements. The agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. The agreement cannot conflict with the criminal laws or other public policy, and cannot predetermine child support obligations. There must be a fair disclosure to each party of the other party’s assets and income, so that there is an informed agreement. The law is also concerned with one party exerting excessive influence or pressure on the other party, creating a coercive agreement. For this and other reasons, it is a good idea for both spouses-to-be to have their own attorney to advise them before entering into the agreement, and to make sure that the terms of the agreement are fair and accurate.
If you are considering entering into a prenuptial agreement, consult with a Fort Lauderdale prenuptial agreement lawyer. An experienced attorney can explain the existing legal framework to you, and answer questions about how specific assets would be treated upon divorce or death. Serena Carroll, Esq. has helped numerous clients create prenuptial agreements that provide peace of mind and a fair distribution of assets should the unexpected occur. For a confidential consultation, call today at (954) 525-2050.