Guiding Couples Through Effective Prenuptial Agreements
Aside from child custody arrangements, the division of financial assets is easily one of the most hotly contested issues when couples divorce in Florida. To protect each other during marriage and the divorce process (should it occur), more men and women in Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach are considering prenuptial agreements than in years past.
For more than 30 years, the Fort Lauderdale prenuptial agreement attorney at Stuart N. House, P.A., has fought for his client’s rights in court. Attorney House can help you understand the ins and outs of prenuptial agreements, so you can confidently approach the process of drafting and executing a premarital agreement.
What Is A Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement, often shortened to “prenup,” is a contract that is written by two parties before getting married to one another. The agreement lists each party’s property and explains each person’s property rights in dissolution.
Prenuptial agreements (also called antenuptial or premarital agreements) help ensure the marriage is fair and equitable to both parties. Parties can also make an agreement during the marriage. These contracts are referred to as postmarital, postnuptial, or marital agreements.
Who Needs A Prenuptial Agreement In Florida?
Most people are familiar with the agreements between individuals of high wealth before marriage. However, a prenuptial agreement may serve multiple purposes. From minimizing the potential for a lengthy battle in divorce court to creating safeguards for life events before the marriage, there are several practical reasons an everyday person might consider a prenuptial agreement.
Protection From Debt In Fort Lauderdale
Most Americans have some degree of consumer debt. Parties who plan to marry may wish to consider a prenuptial agreement that explicitly holds each person responsible for their accumulated liability before the marriage. Creating an agreement that addresses debt may be a smaller part of a more substantial agreement that seeks to clarify each person’s overall financial rights and responsibilities during the marriage.
A prenup is also a useful means of planning before the event of a spouse’s death. Under current laws, debt collectors may pursue surviving spouses for unpaid debts when the original debtor dies. Spouses may protect themselves from debt collectors by creating a contract that specifies that each spouse is responsible for their premarital debt.
Specifying Children’s Inheritance Rights
If one or both parties have children from a previous partnership prior to the marriage, a prenup can establish how nonmarital property will be transferred to the children in the event of the parent’s death. In the absence of a prenup, the spouse may have the right to claim property that was otherwise intended for the stepchild.
What Information Do Prenups Contain?
Each state determines separate property and marital or “community” property. Prenuptial agreements can keep family heirlooms within the bloodline, separate businesses, provide guidance for filing tax returns, define rights regarding retirement benefits and savings contributions, and address many other financial decisions couples may face.
Individuals who own a business or plan on making a significant financial investment without their partner’s aid should strongly consider a prenup. Prenups can protect businesses or future investments from being taken during a future divorce.
While the list of items that may be included in a prenup is quite expansive, there are certain restrictions. For example, prenups cannot govern anything illegal. Additionally, spouses may not waive their rights to spousal support or alimony.
How Are Prenups Created?
Couples in Florida may draft their prenuptial agreements; however, enlisting the help of an experienced Fort Lauderdale prenuptial agreement lawyer.
Today, all states permit prenuptial agreements; however, the court may set aside an agreement that appears to be unfair or that does not meet the state’s specified requirements. Therefore, it is essential to have the guidance of a professional familiar with the governing laws. Parties are also encouraged to have separate counsel to review the agreement to ensure their rights and interests are protected.
Talk To An Experienced Attorney Today
A free consultation with a Fort Lauderdale premarital agreement lawyer is just a call (or click) away. Arrange a consultation with an attorney you can trust to fight for your rights – contact the firm online or via phone at 754-732-7482.