Tallahassee Prenuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement (or “prenup”) is contractual agreement made by two people prior to marriage. A prenup usually lists all of the debts and all of the property each person owns before marriage. It also describes the property rights of each person concerning those debts and properties should the marriage end. Prenups must be carefully drafted by a family law attorney who is familiar with Florida family law. Contact Liebenhaut Law today to learn more.
Why Should a Couple Consider Drafting a Prenuptial Agreement?
Despite popular media portrayals, rich people are not the only ones who can benefit from a prenup. More and more couples of modest means are starting to use prenuptial agreements to protect their interests. Here are some reasons why you may want to consider a prenup:
Clarify Each Person’s Financial Rights
Rich or not, with children or childless, a couple may want to use a prenuptial agreement to spell out their financial responsibilities and their financial rights during their marriage. Below is a list of additional examples of financial matters couples can include in their prenuptial agreements:
- Which spouse will pay the household bills, and how that spouse will do so;
- Whether the couple will have joint bank accounts, and how the joint bank accounts will be managed;
- If the couple will file separate or joint income tax returns or place tax and income deductions on individual tax returns;
- How the couple will save money;
- How the couple will pay credit card purchase charges. (For instance, recordkeeping, payments for the charges, will the couple use certain cards for certain purchases, etc.);
- If and how the couple will agree to support one another should a spouse go to college or graduate school;
- How the couple will buy or finance specific projects or purchases like a starting a business or purchasing a house;
- If and how the couple would provide for the surviving spouse. (For instance, would the spouse receive financial support from the other spouse’s life insurance policy or from the other spouse’s estate plan; and
- How the couple would resolve any disagreements in the future. (For instance, the couple could agree to hire a private arbitrator or a mediator to resolve any disputes).
Obtain Protection From the Other Person’s Debts
Prenuptial agreements can also allow a future spouse to protect themselves from the other spouse’s debts. These agreements can address a host of additional issues as well. A family law attorney can advise you as to how a prenuptial agreement can further protect you.
Bequeath Separate Property to Children From Previous Marriages
A couple with children from previous relationships and/or marriages can use a prenuptial agreement to decide how their property will be bequeathed to others when they pass away. A prenuptial agreement will make sure that a person’s separate property will go to his or her children from previous relationships or marriages. In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, the surviving spouse could claim a large part of the deceased spouse’s separate property. This would shrink the estate that the deceased spouse’s children would receive.
Prevent Arguments If the Couple Does Divorce
The couple can, in advance, decide the division of their property and if a spouse will get alimony. A few states do not allow a spouse to give up his or her right to receive alimony. However, in most other states, courts will heavily scrutinize a spouse’s waiver of alimony. They will not enforce the waiver if the spouse who waived his or her right to alimony did not have a prenup lawyer at the time the couple signed the prenuptial agreement.
Keep Property in the Family
If one person has property that he or she would like to remain with his or her birth family, such as a share in the family business or an heirloom, that person and his or her fiancé can agree in the prenuptial agreement that that specific property will remain in that person’s family. This term in a prenuptial agreement can even cover property that a person expects to receive in an inheritance after the couple is married.
Keep Finances Separate
Florida laws designate certain types of assets that are accumulated by spouses during their marriage as marital, or community, property. The marital or community property designation typically applies even the assets in questions are only held in one spouse’s name. If a spouse dies or a couple gets a divorce after creating a prenuptial agreement, the property designated as marital or community property will be divided between them according to their prenuptial agreement instead of by the court. If you want to prevent a court from dividing some or all of their individual property accumulated during marriage, you should visit a family law attorney to create your own prenuptial agreement.
Contact a Prenup Lawyer Today
Courts look carefully prenuptial agreements. It’s therefore important to have an experienced attorney draft your agreement to ensure that it’s clear and legally sound. To learn more about prenups and how a family law attorney can help, contact Liebenhaut Law today.