First Come Prenuptial's, Then Comes Marriage
As you plan and prepare for your big day, perhaps the last thing on your mind is the idea of signing and preparing a prenuptial agreement. Nevertheless, it still holds true that a prenuptial agreement has many benefits which should be considered when entering into a new marriage.
Prenuptial agreements force couples to discuss matters that tend to spark conflict and cause expensive and extensive litigation in the event of a divorce. They provide the opportunity for couples to develop a road map that can make things much easier in the event of a separation.
Prenuptial agreements allow couples to decide what works best for them rather than letting the laws of their particular state determine what happens in the event of a divorce. Moreover, prenuptial agreements offer couples to make these kinds of decisions before entering into the marriage. A Prenuptial is a way for both parties entering into a marriage to confidently step into marriage without the fear and trepidation associated with the unknowns that may come with a possible divorce.
Contrary to common preconceived notions, a prenuptial is not an indicator that the couple thinks their relationship will fail. Most people who purchase life insurance hope to never have to use it but expect to receive the benefits from the policy in the event that they may need to. Prenuptial agreements operate similarly in that they provide specific protections to both spouses in the event of an unanticipated divorce. In fact, the ability to enter into a prenuptial agreement with your spouse is generally a good indicator that there is sufficient trust in the relationship to have a productive and meaningful dialogue regarding common issues.
Additionally, a prenuptial agreement draws a clear line in the sand and sets clear expectations between couples before they walk down the aisle and help to minimize uncomfortable discussions in the event that things don’t go according to planned. If either partner is coming into the marriage with significant assets, a prenuptial agreement allows for the protection of these assets in the event of a divorce. In Florida, when a couple divorces marital assets and liabilities are divided equitably, which means that there is a possibility that one spouse could receive a significant portion of the assets acquired during the course of the marriage. However, a prenuptial agreement drafted or executed incorrectly has the potential to be unenforceable in the event of a divorce.
Prenuptial agreements that are not voluntarily entered into are unenforceable. Fraud, duress, coercion or overreach are not acceptable ways to get your spouse to sign off on a prenuptial agreement. This means that neither of the future spouses and lie about or omit pertinent information and that an agreement signed by force will not be enforced in a court of law.
Prenuptial agreements must also be fair to both parties. An unconscionable prenuptial agreement that is inherently unfair to one spouse will not be enforceable. Additionally, each spouse is required to make disclosures as to the extent and nature of their separate assets and debts so no one in blindsided into taking on responsibilities that they are unaware of.
While it’s true that in the midst of wedding preparations a prenuptial agreement may not on the top of your list, it is important to consider and discuss the benefits of a prenuptial agreement with an experienced attorney before making a lifelong commitment such as marriage.
At Puzo Law we are prepared help you understand the benefits of a well drafted prenuptial agreement. Call us at 305-428-2220 for a free consultation.