Back to blog

What is a Prenuptial Agreement

Prenuptial Agreement

When couples decide to marry, it is easy to become overwhelmed with romantic feelings and forget the important details about the terms of marriage. Marriage planning, however, should also fully encompass details regarding how property will be shared between a couple. It is a wise idea to take all potential and emotional elements into considerations during marriages. Prenuptial agreements are one type of legal document that are useful to fully protect each spouse’s financial interests. Although a common myth exists associating prenuptial agreements with divorce, In reality, prenuptial agreements can apply to situations other than divorce including cases where one spouse is anticipated to die from an illness. Some parties also refer to prenuptial agreements as antenuptial agreements or pre-marital agreements.

People Who Might Benefit from a prenuptial Agreement

Originally, prenuptial agreements were designed to protect wives and make sure that they received a fair amount of assets in the event of divorce or when a husband died. Instead of being focused on just the wealthy, prenuptial agreements are for many more types of couples than just the rich. Statistics reveal that an increasing number of couples are using prenuptial agreements to achieve various reasons. Some of the types of people who find prenuptial agreements particularly beneficial include the following:

 

  • Avoid arguments that might arise if a divorce occurs by specifying exactly how property will be divided and whether spouses will receive alimony.
  • Clarify Financial Rights. Couples frequently use prenuptial agreements to articulate the various financial rights involved in a marriage.
  • Individuals who want to use prenuptial agreements to pass property to children from previous marriages. Without a prenuptial agreement in these cases, a surviving spouse might have the option to claim a large portion of the other spouse’s property which can result in any involved children receiving significantly less.
  • Sometimes, prenuptial agreements are used to protect one spouse’s debts from the other spouse and can also address various other issues related to financial protection.

Common Elements of a Prenuptial Agreement

One of the most advantageous elements of prenuptial agreements is that the terms contained in a particular prenuptial agreement change based on the wishes of the couple. Some of the terms that can be included in prenuptial agreements include:

  • Assign spouses the responsibilities of various debts involved in the marriage.
  • Decide which spouses will manage banking and business details.
  • Indicate that funds from a certain source belong to one or both spouse as well as what amount.
  • Protection of assets that accumulated in the course of a marriage prior to a new marriage so that children have the opportunity to inherit these assets.
  • Sometimes, couples include non-financial related issues including issues like which spouse is assigned the responsibility of taking out the garbage.
  • Waiver of a new spouse’s rights as a beneficiary of a retirement plan in the event previous spouses or children from earlier marriages are named as beneficiaries instead.

Additional Considerations for prenuptial Agreements in Florida

There are many other important elements of prenuptial agreements that parties who are creating or signing a prenuptial agreement must understand. Without a full understanding of these laws, a person is at risk of discovering that they have signed away important rights in a marriage without meaning to do so. As a result, it is important to retain the services of a skilled attorney if you are interested in creating a prenuptial agreement. One issue that is not affected by prenuptial agreements are arrangements concerning children.  It is also important to understand that in the event a couple separates or a marriage ends, a prenuptial agreement can be abandoned, changed, or revoked. In cases where a marriage is voided, prenuptial agreements are only enforceable to the degree necessary to avoid an inequitable or unfair result.

Speak with an Experienced Jacksonville Family Law Attorney

Even though it is possible to download a prenup from the internet, it is often a good idea to avoid doing so because these prenups will be less likely to successfully stand if challenged and will also likely not state the intentions of the parties clearly resulting in results different than those desired by the parties. At the Judy Ann Smith Law Firm, our goal is to help clients resolve various complicated legal issues that can arise in their lives by creating unique strategies. Call our law firm today by contacting (904) 562 – 1369 or emailing our law office at info@jasmithlawfirm.com for a free consultation. Our legal counsel is ready and willing to help you today.