Prenuptial agreements, commonly known as prenups, are legal contracts that couples create and sign before getting married. They are used to help establish who gets what in the event that you get divorced. While it may seem counterintuitive to create one, as some believe forming this agreement is a precursor to a future divorce, prenuptial agreements can provide couples with peace of mind and financial security knowing that everything is set in stone in the event something goes awry. Now, let’s explore what exactly a prenuptial agreement is and why it may be a worthy avenue to pursue.
What are Prenuptial Agreements?
As previously mentioned, a prenuptial agreement is a legally binding document that details how any assets, debts, or alimony will be distributed if you and your partner decide to separate. It is important to note that a prenuptial agreement is by no means a requirement, but rather a suggestion. When people think about prenuptial agreements, they often assume that it is only really necessary if there is one spouse who is particularly wealthy. While it is true that wealthier individuals tend to pursue prenuptial agreements, it is not exclusive for just these individuals. Furthermore, prenuptial agreements can be used by any couple and can significantly help reduce additional tension in the future.
Asset and Debt Division
Prenuptial agreements are used to clearly specify how assets and debts that exist prior to marriage, also known as premarital assets and premarital debts, will be divided up if there is a divorce. Some premarital assets that an individual may have include real estate, personal valuables, investment funds, retirement accounts, jewelry, and cryptocurrency. Some premarital debts may include student loans, mortgage, car loans, and credit cards.
Alimony, also known as spousal support, is another important aspect of a prenuptial agreement. Alimony is a payment required by one spouse to pay the other in order to ensure the divorce does not result in a significant change in the lower earning spouse’s life. This will help guarantee that an individual’s financial situation and lifestyle will not be altered very drastically as the result of a divorce.
When a Prenuptial Agreement May Not Be Enforceable
It is important to take into account that there are a few scenarios in which a prenuptial agreement may not be enforceable.
- The first example is if the agreement is not in writing. Unfortunately, most agreements or contracts are not enforceable if there is no written record of it.
- Another reason why your prenuptial agreement may not be enforceable is if either party was coerced into signing the contract.
- If there was not a notary public or witness present when you signed the prenuptial agreement, the agreement may also not be enforceable (if you are in a state the requires it).
Seek Legal Help
If you need help creating or interpreting a prenuptial agreement, or could use assistance in filing for a divorce, seek legal guidance from a Florida family law attorney who can help guarantee that your rights and financials are protected.