It’s time to address the negativity that has historically hung around prenuptial agreements. They have become the downer jokes of sitcoms and any mention of them in certain circles is sure to get you the occasional side-eye. The truth of the matter is that prenuptial agreements are nothing to cringe at. Couples that seek to establish a prenuptial agreement are taking concerted steps to prepare for a successful marriage and, in the event that the marriage ends in dissolution, they have made a plan to ease the transition and protect their interests.
At its core, a prenuptial agreement is a legal document signed by two people who are planning to get married. This is a document that addresses complex and hotly contested issues before a problem ever arises. It’s interesting that some still think of a prenup as planning for divorce, when putting a comprehensive prenup in place can actually be a big help in creating a solid foundation for a marriage. This is due to things like the full disclosure of assets and financial expectations going into the marriage. If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, be sure it is properly executed and keep in mind these important drafting considerations.
Drafting Considerations for Prenuptial Agreements
A prenuptial agreement details, among other things, the rights and responsibilities of each party in the event of divorce or a death while the parties are still married. The agreement can cover either or both of these situations. To be valid, however, a Florida prenuptial agreement must be in writing and voluntarily signed by both parties. The agreement must be reasonable and it must be validated by marriage.
When drafting a prenuptial agreement, consider the terms you wish to have included. Some of the more basic provisions you should consider including in your prenuptial agreement include:
- Division of property: Your prenup should address what property you owned prior to marriage and want to remain separate over the course of the marriage. It is likely that you will also want to detail how marital property should be divided in the event of divorce.
- Marital finances: A prenuptial agreement is also an opportunity to set forth how finances will be managed during the marriage. You can specify who will be paying for certain bills and expenses in your agreement.
- Debt obligations: Your prenuptial agreement can also specify things relating to debts, such as debts that are brought into the marriage. The agreement can make it clear that debt brought into the marriage will remain the sole responsibility of the spouse who carried the debt into the marital relationship.
- Children rights: A prenuptial agreement can also help protect inheritance rights for children from previous relationships. Specifying the rights of these children can help prevent them from losing access to their parents’ estate and their inheritance.
- Alimony: While a prenup may not be used to waive alimony in every state, it can be used to specify how much an alimony award will be for.
Florida Family Law Attorneys
Have you considered putting a prenuptial agreement in place? Talk to the knowledgeable team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou about your options. Contact us today.