Taking a Trip down the Aisle Soon? You May Want to Consider a Prenup
If you’re one of the many couples planning to get married this spring and summer, you really should drive straight to an attorney to discuss a prenuptial agreement before you take that stroll down the aisle. Many couples think it’s unromantic or even downright cynical, contemplating divorce before the marriage has even begun. But in reality a prenuptial agreement is the same as getting any type of insurance policy – something you hope you never have to use, but gives you peace of mind knowing it’s there to protect you in case the worst happens.
Florida Prenuptial Agreements
A prenuptial, or premarital, agreement is a voluntary contract entered into by both spouses prior to the marriage. Unlike other contracts, which require consideration to be enforceable, the only consideration required for a prenuptial agreement to be valid is the marriage itself.
Prenuptial agreements deal with any one or more of the following (the only thing that cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement is the payment of child support):
- Rights and obligations of the spouses to marital and/or separate property;
- The right of each spouse to manage certain property in any way;
- How property will be allocated in the event of divorce or death;
- Payment or non-payment of spousal support;
- Agreements to make a will;
- Rights of the surviving spouse to life insurance proceeds paid at death, and;
- Any other matter the parties wish to include.
As you can see, prenuptial agreements are highly individual to the couple and depend on their specific goals and needs. But while they vary from couple to couple, there are certain requirements that must be met in order for it to be considered valid. If any of these requirements are not met, the judge can rule that the agreement is unenforceable and the division of assets will proceed under the rules of equitable division.
Agreement must be in writing. A prenuptial agreement must be in writing, and it must be signed by both parties. An oral agreement that “what’s mine stays mine and what’s yours stays yours” is invalid and unenforceable. So too is an agreement that is signed by only one spouse.
Both parties must have voluntarily entered into the agreement. Each party must agree to the terms of the agreement of his or her own free will. Adding to that, the signing could not have been the result of fraud, duress, coercion or overreaching. Each party must have signed the agreement because they thought it was in their best interest and agreed to the terms.
Agreement must not have been unconscionable. Whether a prenuptial agreement is unconscionable depends on all of the circumstances surrounding its formation and signing. An agreement is usually found unconscionable if its terms are unfair or oppressive to one party.
Each party must provide the other with fair and reasonable disclosure of assets. A person can’t agree to forego certain rights or responsibilities if they don’t have complete and accurate information as to the other’s financial situation. A husband-to-be may agree in the prenuptial agreement that in the event of divorce he will pay alimony. But that same husband may not have agreed to such a provision if he knew that his wife had a $2 million trust fund.
Boca Raton Prenuptial Agreement Attorneys
Nobody wants to think about getting divorced while they are busy planning a wedding. But with roughly half of all marriages ending long before “’til death do us part,” it makes sense to take steps to safeguard your financial future in the event your marriage doesn’t make it. The Boca Raton prenuptial agreement attorneys at Schwartz l White can help. Our attorneys will sit down with you and go over your and your future spouse’s assets and help you draft a premarital agreement that is both fair and protects your assets. Give us a call today at 561.391.9943 to schedule your free initial consultation.