Prenuptial Agreements Can Help Protect Your Assets
More and more people are entering into prenuptial agreements before they get married, a trend that has largely been attributed to the increasing age at which people have started getting married in recent decades. As a result, it has become increasingly common for couples who are entering into a marriage to have significant assets of their own that they may not want to jeopardize in the event of divorce. A prenuptial agreement is one of the best ways to protect these assets and avoid taking on a partner’s premarital debt.
What are Prenuptial Agreements?
Prenuptial agreements are contracts between two people who are planning on getting married and dictate how a couple’s assets will be divided in the event of divorce. They can also address issues, like alimony. To be enforceable, prenuptial agreements must be in writing, signed by both parties, and be entered into voluntarily, so any evidence that one party forced another to sign could invalidate the entire contract. Both parties will also be required to make full financial disclosures before entering into such an agreement. This includes the mandatory disclosure of any premarital debts. Evidence that one party was hiding assets or otherwise engaged in fraud or coercion could also result in the invalidation of the agreement. Agreements that are extremely unfair to one party could also be challenged and eventually thrown out by a court.
Prenuptial agreements can protect a wide range of assets, including any separate property owned by one party prior to the marriage, such as:
- Cash and savings;
- Interest in a property for a child from a previous marriage;
- Real estate;
- Life insurance policies;
- Personal possessions;
- Business interests; and
- Intellectual property rights.
By entering into a prenuptial agreement, couples can preserve this type of premarital wealth, protect complex investments, and keep a family business in the family if the marriage ends in divorce, or if one of the parties passes away. These agreements are also a good way to protect oneself from a soon-to-be spouse’s debts, to protect the property interests of children from previous marriages, and can be used to decide whether one spouse will be entitled to alimony in the event of divorce. It is even possible to modify prenuptial agreements if a family’s circumstances change over time, or to throw the agreement out in its entirety.
Protecting Your Assets with a Prenuptial Agreement
Prenuptial agreements can be a great way to protect a couple’s finances. They are, however, only enforceable if they comply with specific rules and requirements. Failing to abide by any of these rules could result in the invalidation of a portion of the agreement, or even the entire contract. To learn more about prenuptial agreements and whether one could be right for you and your soon-to-be spouse, feel free to call dedicated Fort Lauderdale prenuptial and postnuptial agreement lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591. You can also set up a free consultation by reaching out to a member of our legal team via online message.