7 Things You NEED to Include in Your Prenuptial
A prenuptial agreement is an essential tool for many couples looking to get married. Although some stigmas surround prenups, a well-thought-out agreement with the right elements can create a smooth matrimonial relationship. The following 7 things to include in your prenuptial will help make sure your prenup is done right.
A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding contract that allows couples to stipulate what actions will be taken regarding specific aspects of a marriage and a divorce. Because we they are forward-thinking, people often believe that prenups lead to divorces simply because they contemplate what actions to take in the case of a divorce.
However, prenups are extremely valuable tools for marriages and usually do not foreshadow a divorce. In fact, they help couples gain a deeper understanding of the ramifications of marriage as well as provide each spouse with a layer of protection.
But for a prenuptial to be effective, it must contain certain elements, without which it may actually burden a married couple’s lives.
1. Pre-Marital Assets and Liabilities
Within your prenuptial, there should be terms discussing all assets and debts that each spouse had before entering into the marriage. Answers should be provided to questions such as “How does ownership of assets change after marriage?” and “Who is responsible for each debt?”
2. Marital Assets and Liabilities
Marital assets and debts receive specific treatment under Florida law in the absence of a prenuptial agreement. Under the law, marital assets and debts are divided 50/50. However, a prenuptial agreement may provide terms that see these marital assets and debts treated in a specific way that differs from how the law would treat them. Topics such as alimony and division of property may be addressed in a prenuptial agreement.
3. Children from Previous Marriages
If there are children from a previous marriage, the prenuptial agreement should contain provisions addressing important issues such as child support in case of divorce and inheritance issues, among other concerns.
4. Property Division Guidelines for Divorce
As mentioned, you may establish property division guidelines in a prenuptial that takes precedence over state law. Since Florida courts tend to respect the terms of prenuptial agreements, even when unfair, it is important to have an attorney review your prenuptial before you sign it.
5. Income from Your Job
Work circumstances can lead to confusion in the marriage. Defining each spouse’s responsibility in a prenup regarding income from your job can help keep the flow of the marriage stable.
6. Inheritance Rights
Spouses have elective share rights in Florida, which entitles them to a percentage of their deceased spouse’s estate, even if the deceased spouse sought to disinherit them. However, this right and many others can be effectively waived in a prenuptial. Great care should be taken when signing away an inheritance right.
7. Spouses’ Identities and Signatures
A prenup is a legal contract. As such, the full legal names of both spouses should be included in the agreement, as well as both spouses’ signatures. Without these elements, the contract is likely invalid.
Protect Your Marriage
Don’t let the stigma surrounding prenups prevent you from exploring one for your upcoming marriage. There may be certain aspects of a prenup that could work well in your situation. After reviewing the 7 things to include in your prenuptial, contact The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm to get the guidance you need today.