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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Prenuptial Agreements

Pre- and post-nuptial agreements are becoming more popular as divorce rates rise and as spouses become more interested in retaining their individual property should the marriage come to an early end.  Pre- and post-nuptial agreements make appearances in television shows and popular films, and often provide a source of conflict or anxiety.  What is in a prenup, does making one or asking for one really have to be a distressing process, and what is involved in completing one?  Below are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding pre- and post-nuptial agreements.

What Is in a Prenup?

A prenup in the state of Florida usually includes the following things:

  • An agreement regarding where separate property from prior marriages will go, whether to the new spouse, back to the spouse who originally owned it, or whether it will be bequeathed after death to children either from a prior marriage or the marriage governed by the prenup. Resolving these ambiguities is one of the most common functions of a prenup;
  • A clarification of financial rights and responsibilities of each spouse in the marriage;
  • Specifications in advance as to child custody, alimony, and property division should divorce occur (though take note that courts may choose whether or not to enforce some provisions that may be contrary to a state’s public policy, like complete waivers of alimony); and
  • Agreements regarding how wills, trusts, life insurance policies, and the like will be established and paid out, which is particularly important if the spouses expect to have children, have children from a previous marriage or marriages, or have other heirs.

Will Asking for a Prenup Really Wreck My Relationship?

The notion that mere mention of a prenuptial agreement will result in a devastated or angry partner is becoming more anachronistic.  Prenups are quickly gaining popularity as people begin to recognize that pre-nups can help avoid problems later in the marriage and can serve to protect the rights and interests of both parties.  While only your partner can tell you how he or she feels about prenuptial agreements, there is no need to fear a sitcom-style eruption.  Additionally, the help of a family law attorney can smooth over the prenup process by functioning as a source of legal guidance and as somewhat of a “buffer” between the two spouses in the process.

How Do I Make a Prenup?

First, a point of clarification; the parties involved do not definitively invent the terms of the prenuptial agreement, and cannot simply write in any terms the parties so desire.  Prenups are always subject to the laws of the state in which they are signed and in which the marriage occurs.  However, making a prenuptial agreement, at its most basic level, just requires a written document signed by both parties.  To ensure that the content of the prenup will be upheld by a court, you likely need the assistance of a family law attorney.

If you are preparing to marry or have recently done so, a pre- or post-nuptial agreement may be right for you and for your spouse.  At Schwartz | White, our experienced Boca Raton family law attorneys may be able to assist you in drafting and, if necessary, enforcing the pre- or post-nuptial agreement. Call 561-391-9943 today for a consultation.

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