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What to Consider Including in a Prenuptial Agreement

Venue? Check!

Dress? Check!

A prenuptial agreement drafted by your Florida family law attorney? Crickets…

Wedding bells will soon be ringing, but before they do, one other important thing you should be sure to include on your long pre-wedding day preparations is to finalize your prenuptial agreement!

“Prenup” is not a bad word. A prenuptial agreement is a written contract created by you and your future spouse before marriage or civil union. The document spells out the guidelines and rules for how assets and debts should be divided in the event of divorce. That’s all. It’s been given quite a bad rep.

It could be helpful to you if you give it a chance. Read on for more information about prenuptial agreements and what to consider including in yours.

Ditch the Stigma Attached to a Prenuptial Agreement

While it can feel awkward to talk about the possibility of divorce before you even get married, consider it a way of protecting your future self – your separate property and family heirlooms – and any children you may have from a previous marriage.

When you consider that prenuptial agreements help with potentially messy issues like child custody and child support, you realize that prenuptial agreements are not just for you.

Moreover, prenuptial agreements can also determine how any new assets acquired during the marriage should be handled if the relationship were to end. It could make for a more streamlined divorce process.

Treating divorce like Voldemort won’t make it any less of a reality. No one wants to see a marriage end, but think of it this way: it’s better to have ready and not need it, than to need it and wish you had it! Tell an experienced family law attorney about your unique situation and ask what specific provisions they recommend.

Have any previous relationships?

Have any family property?

Do you own the family business?

Legal counsel from a family law attorney at the Vasquez de Lara Law Group will open your eyes to concerns you didn’t even know you should have. Schedule your free case evaluation now.

What to Include in a Prenuptial Agreement

Valid prenuptial agreements require you and the other spouse to fully disclose their finances and identify their assets and debts.

As you think about what to include in your prenuptial agreement, consider these areas:

  • Business ownership. If one or both spouses own a business before the marriage, or if you plan to jointly invest in a business after marriage, you may consider including stipulations in your prenup around how much of the company and revenue each spouse is entitled. You should also distinguish which, if any, of the business assets were considered marital and separate property.
  • Distinctions of your assets and debt. A prenup enables you to maintain separate control over personal assets that you obtained before marriage. A prenup can also protect you from taking on the responsibility of your spouse’s debt if the marriage ends.
  • Alimony or spousal support. If one partner makes significantly more money than the other, a prenuptial agreement could be used to both limits the payable alimony and/or ensure the lower-earning spouse receives fair compensation in the event of a divorce.
  • Dependent children. If you have children from a previous relationship or with your current partner, your prenup allows you to determine the financial inheritances your children should receive if you divorce; however, things like child custody, visitation, or child support cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement.
  • Estate planning. Prenups can also be used as estate-planning tools to ensure that your financial wishes are fulfilled in the event of your death. This should be in addition to wills, living trusts, and other estate documents.
  • Spousal responsibilities. Some couples choose to include descriptions of each spouse’s responsibilities in their prenuptial agreement. This includes things such as describing who will take care of household bills, how joint bank accounts will be managed, who will contribute what to future savings, and more.

Prenuptial agreements should factor in your and your spouse’s personal and financial situations. A comprehensive contract can give you financial peace of mind. It helps prevent potential disputes down the road, as many difficult conversations and decisions have already been made.

I Don’t Believe in Prenups. What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

First, We Need To Discuss Marital Property Vs. Separate Property

Marital property includes assets owned and debts owed by the couple. Even where only one spouse acquired the property during the marriage, this is considered marital property if not expressly stated otherwise in a separate document.

In contrast, separate property typically includes property acquired by each spouse before the marriage. One spouse’s separate property could consist of their inheritance rights, business, or rare vintage car.

Prenuptial Agreements and Property Division

All marital assets are subject to an equitable allocation under Florida divorce law. This does not mean 50/50 distribution, but rather distribution based on what is deemed “fair” by the court. A fair and valid prenup allows you to include property acquired during the marriage as “separate property.”

In Florida, if a premarital agreement is not prepared, the divorce court will use the rules under the “equitable distribution” procedure to determine how to divide marital assets. Suppose the spouses haven’t agreed to an alternative way of sharing property in writing. In that case, a Florida divorce court will decide for you.

A prenuptial agreement allows you to have a say in your financial future during the property distribution process. Financial issues drag out divorces for too long.

Experienced Florida Family Law Attorney

If you need help preparing your prenuptial agreement or have questions about what to include, get in touch with our experienced team of Florida family law lawyers at the Vasquez de Lara Law Group.

Let’s discuss it all — premarital debts, spousal duties, and your future inheritance. An experienced attorney here will definitely simplify the process.

Author Bio

Vanessa Vasquez de Lara is the founder and owner of Vasquez de Lara Law Group, a Miami family law firm. With over 20 years of experience in family law, she has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including divorces, child support, child custody, alimony, and other family law cases.

Vanessa received her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in 2002 and is a member of the Florida Bar Association. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named to the 2015 Super Lawyers Rising Stars and the 2016-2023 Super Lawyers list.

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