In Florida, prenuptial agreements, known as prenups, play an essential role in safeguarding the financial interests of each partner in a marriage. It’s natural to think through the financial implications of a prenup when planning to share your life with your future spouse. However, it will help if you gained clarity on this often misunderstood planning tool as you move towards cementing your union.
When to begin the process
The sooner couples start talking about prenuptial agreements, the better. The conversation involves potentially sensitive topics, and it is best to discuss things when both parties are relaxed and not feeling the stress of the upcoming wedding.
Some recommend finalizing the contract at least 30 days before your wedding. The party whose attorney did not prepare the agreement must receive it for review at least one week before the couple is ready to sign.
Do we need attorneys?
When creating a prenup, both parties may be willing to work together and feel they don’t need legal assistance. If the marriage dissolves and the prenup needs enforcing, emotions may run high, and any loopholes or weaknesses in the prenup may leave one or both parties vulnerable.
One attorney handling both parties creates a conflict of interest, and only one party with an attorney puts the other party in a disadvantaged position. Constructing a legally sound prenup can make it more challenging for one party to attempt to break or change the contract in the future.
What can go in a prenup?
Many people include pet custody in their prenups. A prenup can consist of various financial terms, such as alimony, how to handle debts and how to divide property. The agreement needs to be structured so that, no matter what terms it contains, they are fair and transparent and do not involve duress or coercion. A prenup cannot cover child custody or support, and in most states, a judge will discard any attempts to provide these provisions in a prenup.
What if only one party signs?
To retain premarital property in case of divorce, if one party does not sign a prenup, you must gather and maintain credible proof that you owned the property before the marriage. Each state protects assets acquired before marriage or gifts and inheritances. It makes sense to keep records that document and support your ownership claims.
Discussing a prenup fosters transparency and mutual understanding. Open communication about each party’s financial expectations can address potential conflicts before they become significant issues.