Contrary to what most people believe, pre-nuptial agreements are not solely for wealthy, high-net-worth individuals. Prenuptial agreements are highly useful legal documents for people from all walks of life. Therefore, knowing how they work and their benefits for Florida residents is important.
At Veliz Katz Law, Attorneys Veliz and Katz are prepared to guide you through the process of drafting and finalizing a prenuptial agreement in Orlando, Florida, and neighboring areas (throughout Central Florida, including Kissimmee, Winter Park, and Maitland). Reach out today for guidance.
What Is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement in Florida?
A pre-nuptial agreement or prenup is a legal document in which spouses agree on the terms and conditions of specific aspects of their marriage. Prenups generally focus on financial and legal terms though a number of other things may be included.
Overall, folks use prenups to protect assets acquired before a marriage. Prenups can also manage assets acquired during the marriage, specifically determining what can happen to these assets in case of death or divorce.
Please note that a marital agreement is not only intended for wealthy individuals. Any person, regardless of their net worth, can use a marital agreement to protect their assets and income and avoid taking on their spouse’s liabilities.
What Does a Pre-Nuptial Agreement Cover?
Here is a look at what a pre-nuptial agreement covers in Florida:
- Identification of the marital property. This situation includes determining which assets belong to the marital property and which ones were acquired before the marriage.
- Separation of the marital property. This aspect covers determining which assets are part of the marital property and which ones can be considered non-marital property. For instance, purchasing a family home (even if it is registered to only one of the spouses) is considered marital property. In contrast, an inheritance or gift would not constitute non-marital property.
- Determining and allocating liabilities. Like assets, debts can also be separated and allocated based on individual circumstances. For example, a mortgage on a family home would be a marital liability. However, individual credit card debts can be separated to avoid affecting the other spouse’s financial record.
- Spousal support. Spousal support or alimony is a common inclusion in a pre-nuptial agreement. The prenup can stipulate specific conditions regarding alimony in case of divorce.
- Children from a previous marriage. A prenup may consider special provisions regarding inheritances to children from a previous marriage. These provisions may also exclude children from previous marriages from receiving any share of property.
- Family property. A prenup can specifically determine the family property that must remain within one of the spouse’s family. For example, a prenup can state that family heirlooms must remain within the family following separation or divorce.
Please note that some items cannot be included in a prenup.
- Child custody. Child custody agreements cannot be included in a prenup. Child custody matters must be resolved with the court’s consent.
- Child support. Similarly, a prenup cannot include child support payments. The court must ultimately assign this figure following a divorce filing.
- Routine or daily life. Prenups should not include routine aspects such as who does which household chores. These types of agreements are not enforceable and can lead a marital agreement to seem less serious. Nevertheless, it is possible to regulate these activities in a separate, private agreement.
On the whole, please remember that prenups are meant to protect assets in case of separation or divorce. Therefore, it is important to ensure these aspects are reflected throughout the document.
Who Should Get a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?
In short, anyone who wishes to protect their assets should get a prenup. While some people may feel that a prenup is not romantic and implies that the relationship will end in divorce, it is always best to play it safe. Also, a prenup allows both spouses to feel more comfortable and secure about their financial position, as well as open the communication for the couple, particularly when entering a second or third marriage.
Why Is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement Important in Florida?
Here are three compelling reasons why a pre-nuptial agreement is important in Florida:
- A prenup helps set clear boundaries. This approach makes settling disputes much easier in the long run, especially when looking to determine “who owns what.”
- Getting a prenup allows the spouses to discuss what is important to each other. In doing so, the spouses can take proactive steps to protect the assets that truly matter to them.
- A marital agreement helps protect the spouses should anything change in the future. By having a prenup, the spouses can take the guesswork out of dealing with any unforeseen situations.
Enforceability of a Pre-Nuptial Agreement
Above all, a solid prenup should be enforceable. In other words, the agreements and conditions must be clear and easy for a court to uphold. Vague provisions may cause the court to request amendments or dismiss the filing.
Talking to a professional family law attorney will help determine which aspects are enforceable, making the prenup as good as it can be.
Getting the Right Legal Counsel in Florida
The attorneys at Veliz Katz Law work with their clients to protect what truly matters to them. They strive to give clients the best legal advice possible in Orlando, Florida, and neighboring areas in Central Florida. Call today to speak with a professional family law attorney. Your actions now can save you thousands of headaches and costs down the road.