Why You Need a Prenuptial Agreement Before You Get Married

Do not get married until you have signed a prenuptial agreement. Although this seems blunt and in some ways, unromantic,

Do not get married until you have signed a prenuptial agreement. Although this seems blunt and in some ways, unromantic, the reality is that when you get married, any significant property that you acquire also belongs to your spouse. In some cases, your spouse may also receive rights to property you owned before the marriage occurred. An example of this is your home. If you owned a home prior to getting married, then your spouse contributed to its value and equity by making mortgage payments and improvements to the home and property, he or she may have a claim to the house during a divorce. You can address this and other property-related issues in your prenuptial agreement.

Prenuptial agreements in Florida are governed by the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. This act, like other uniform acts, is a general legal template that each state may adopt and customize. It outlines the process that Florida couples must follow to create prenuptial agreements and the restrictions on what they may include in such documents.

What May Be Included in a Prenuptial Agreement?

Generally, prenuptial agreements are meant to address the couple’s property and asset ownership in the event of a divorce or a death. Individuals who have been married previously or have children from other relationships often use these to ensure that their former spouse’s and children’s needs are met. The following types of issues may be addressed in a prenuptial agreement:

  • Each partner’s estate plans;
  • How the couple’s property may be divided upon their divorce;
  • Whether either partner is entitled to spousal support following divorce and if so, how much and the length of time he or she may receive it. In some states, individuals may not waive their right to receive spousal maintenance. In Florida, individuals may waive this right; and
  • If either partner is a business owner or the couple owns a business together, how this business’ assets may be divided upon their divorce or one spouse’s death.

Prenuptial agreements can only be used to cover issues related to a couple’s finances. Other topics, like the number of children the couple will have or how they will be raised, may not be included in a prenuptial agreement because there is no way to guarantee whether the couple will actually have children. Likewise, a couple may not include stipulations about child support or custody in their prenuptial agreement. Couples also may not include lifestyle requirements or anything related to illegal activity.

Divorce Attorney in Winter Park

Contact Sperling Ducker in Winter Park at 407-645-3297 or on the web to discuss prenuptial agreements with Mr. Ducker. Mr. Ducker can answer any questions you have about the legal aspects of marriage and divorce and help you draft a prenuptial agreement that works for you and your significant other. Do not enter a marriage without protecting your assets – you worked hard to acquire what you have, do not leave it unprotected in the event of a divorce or death.