The Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement
Although it may not seem like a very romantic gesture, it is often in a couple’s best interest to execute a prenuptial agreement before getting married. This is especially true for couples in certain situations, so if you are getting married and are thinking about drafting a prenuptial agreement, you should consider speaking with an experienced prenuptial agreement attorney who can help protect your interests.
When to Execute a Prenuptial Agreement
One situation in which couples are strongly encouraged to enter into a prenuptial agreement is when one or more parties own or are interested in owning a small business. In Florida, businesses that are started after a marriage has already taken place are usually considered to be marital property, which means that they will also be subject to equitable division in a divorce. Prenuptial agreements give prospective spouses the option of labeling any future or existing businesses as the separate property of one spouse.
It can also be helpful to have a prenuptial agreement if a couple anticipates moving to another state at any point during their marriage. The laws governing divorce vary by state, so if a couple wishes to have their property divided in a certain way upon divorce regardless of state law, it is probably best if they create a prenuptial agreement that contains provisions explaining how assets will be divided and how spousal support will be calculated.
It is not uncommon for one spouse to have children from a previous marriage. This can prove problematic in the event of one spouse’s death, especially if a decedent wanted to leave the majority of his or her assets to children from a prior marriage. Although spouses cannot be completely disinherited, a prenuptial agreement could include provisions that waive a spouse’s right to inherit, leaving at least a portion of the estate to an adult child.
Drafting a Valid Prenuptial Agreement
Deciding to draft a premarital agreement is only the first step in a lengthy process. Prenuptial agreements must comply with strict standards, so couples who enter into these agreements should take care to ensure that their own agreement is:
- In writing; and
- Signed by both parties.
Agreements that don’t satisfy these rules could end up being ruled unenforceable by a court, which could be devastating for one or both parties. It is also important to note that parties to a prenuptial agreement can only agree to certain actions. For instance, spouses are permitted to contract with respect to the right to buy, sell, or use property and can also come to agreements regarding the establishment, modification, or waiver of spousal support. However, parties to a premarital agreement are not permitted to eliminate spousal support to a degree that the other spouse becomes eligible for public assistance or to eliminate child support. To ensure that you don’t create an unenforceable prenuptial agreement, please contact our legal team today.
Call Today for Legal Advice
There are a number of reasons to execute a prenuptial agreement, so if you have questions about whether drafting a prenuptial agreement is in your own best interests, please contact dedicated Fort Lauderdale attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 for a free consultation.