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Should I Get A Prenuptial Agreement Before Getting Married?

Most of us dream of finding a long-term partner to settle down with and potentially start a family. Many people also can’t wait to plan their wedding and make it a spectacular experience for everyone involved. Unfortunately, many marriages dissolve into shadows of what they used to be. Divorces also lead to various complications, such as disagreements over finances and child custody. Getting a prenuptial agreement before you get married is one of the best ways to protect yourself in case things go wrong, but not everyone understands how they function. Let’s explore the key information you should know.

What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?

This is a contract between two individuals that establishes certain terms before they get married. It examines each individual’s assets and debts, documenting them before the marriage occurs. Assets often include jewelry, real estate, cash, and investments.

The prenup dictates how these assets will be distributed if the marriage dissolves. Prenups can include various clauses that come into effect under certain conditions.

For example, there could be a lifestyle clause that sets certain terms for the marriage. These could require both spouses to abstain from substance abuse, dictate what religion the couple follows, and establish how often sexual encounters between spouses occur. If these clauses are breached, a spouse could file for divorce and the judge would likely side in their favor.

Clauses also establish courses of action to take if the terms are violated. To clarify, let’s assume your prenup has an infidelity clause. If infidelity occurs, the terms could declare that the offending party is at fault during the divorce.

Premarital Agreement Benefits

One of the most significant benefits of a prenuptial agreement is facilitating fast resolutions if a divorce occurs. Under conventional circumstances, divorces can take months or even years to figure out. This is especially true if both parties have a large number of shared and personal assets.

If children are involved, extensive divorces can be mentally and emotionally damaging. Prenups also protect separate property. There are few things worse than losing something you have full ownership of in a divorce.

A property listed in a prenup can never be taken during a divorce. Prenups also help define financial rights for both parties.

What Are the Requirements?

It’s essential to work with a reputable attorney when drafting a prenuptial agreement. This will allow you to avoid common pitfalls that people encounter. See what other people online have to say about working with them.

You should also ensure they have plenty of experience working with people like you. You should also make sure they’re interested in helping you with your project. Regarding the prenuptial agreement, everything must be in writing.

No part of a prenuptial agreement can be verbal. The document must also be in writing and be voluntarily created by both parties. You can’t force or coerce the other party to sign anything or agree to the contract’s terms.

Common Terms to Understand

There are many terms within a prenuptial agreement that you might not understand at first glance. It’s essential to know what these are so you can ensure your agreement satisfies all your needs. Listed below are some of the most notable.

Alimony

Also known as spousal support, alimony terms dictate how much money one spouse needs to pay another after a divorce. Alimony amounts will vary depending on many factors, such as both spouse’s income.

If the divorce would cause one spouse’s lifestyle to significantly worsen, the other spouse might have to pay them a certain amount of spousal support. For the spouse ordered to pay, this could cause significant financial distress.

Property Rights

Prenuptial agreements typically define property in different categories, such as “separate property” and “marital property.” Separate property is owned by only one spouse and was acquired before the marriage occurred. Marital property refers to any property that was purchased during the marriage.

Personal asset protection situations often become murky if spouses purchase property after they’re married. This is true even if the property is only in one spouse’s name.

Elective Share

Surviving spouses in Florida are entitled to a certain share of their deceased spouse’s elective estate. Laws exist to prevent the disinheritance of the surviving spouse. Your attorney can help you better understand the nuances of elective share.

What Do Prenuptial Agreements Not Cover?

It’s essential to understand that a prenuptial agreement can’t handle matters related to child support. It also can’t establish who gets child custody, as this is influenced by a large number of other factors.

As you might assume, a prenup also can’t include anything prohibited by law. Keep this in mind when moving forward so you minimize the complications you encounter.

Mistakes to Avoid

You can make the process far easier when you avoid common mistakes that people make. One of the most common is using the same lawyer as your spouse.

The divorce attorney will inadvertently side with one party over the other, and you might encounter complications if they choose the other person over you.

Failing to disclose all your assets and debts could invalidate your premarital agreement. It’s also against the law, so be as transparent as possible during the process. Using ambiguous language can come back to haunt you in the future.

The other party and their attorney could claim your terms have an alternative meaning, putting you at risk of not getting the outcome you desire. Even a slight oversight could have severe consequences, such as having a judge award property to your spouse even though it’s in your name.

Don’t Overlook This Opportunity

As long as you understand the benefits of signing a prenuptial agreement, you can decide whether it’s right for you. The tips in this guide will help ensure you make the best decision for your situation.

Boyer Law Firm strives to help each of our clients overcome their legal issues and get the ideal results. With decades of experience, we’ll have no trouble handling your case’s unique nuances. You’ll learn more about what we can offer when you schedule a consultation today.

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