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Protecting your assets with a prenuptial agreement

by | Sep 1, 2017 | Firm News, Prenuptial Agreements |

If you are thinking of getting married in Florida, do not forget to think the consequences of divorce. Without a carefully drafted prenuptial agreement in place, you could end up having to split your marital or individually owned assets with your spouse.

A prenuptial agreement allows you to distinguish which properties you want to stay separate from the marital estate. In the event of a divorce, your prenup can help keep you and your partner from fighting over assets. Here is a brief overview of how you can create and use such a contract. 

Identify all assets 

You and your partner should disclose every asset and businesses you have. If either of you expects to earn more money or acquire new assets before your wedding date, be sure to include them in the disclosure section of your prenuptial contract. Label all assets as separate or community. Try to be as detailed and accurate as possible when disclosing your assets to prevent complications that could nullify the agreement in a divorce. 

Outline the specifics 

Marital assets are not always easy to split up. For example, you and your spouse may purchase a house together. The mortgage is in both of your names. In case of divorce, you can either rely on the courts to determine which of you gets to keep the marital home, or you and your spouse can decide who gets to retain ownership in your prenuptial contract. You should include instructions on how your marital assets should be divided in the event of divorce. 

Assign financial responsibilities 

You can also include instructions about who pays what debts and certain financial obligations. Keep in mind that you can insert details regarding spousal support. You can waive the right to alimony payments, and you can specify who pays and how much. However, you cannot use a prenuptial agreement to make any decisions about child support. 

Ideally, you should bring up the prenuptial agreement with your partner at least several months before your wedding date. You should carefully review your agreement for accuracy and to ensure that it meets all legal requirements. Prenuptial agreements that do not meet legal requirements are unenforceable. With careful planning and consideration, you can use such an arrangement to protect your assets in a worst-case scenario.