Keeping Your Finances Separate After Marriage? There’s a Prenup for That!
Florida law provides that any income you earn or any asset you acquire while married to your spouse is marital property. Money and property that you owned before your marriage is separate property unless you treat it as a marital asset. Examples of treating a separate asset as marital property include adding your spouse’s name to the title of the house you have owned since before you got married or depositing money you inherited from your grandmother into a marital bank account. You have the right to define separate and marital property in your own marriage, but the simplest way to do that is to sign a prenuptial agreement. Keeping your separate property separate is not the only reason to sign a prenup, though. Some couples sign prenups so each spouse can protect the other from their student loans. If you have children from a previous marriage, then a prenup outlining which of your assets will remain separate property and which will be marital can prevent disputes between your children and their stepparent during probate. A Palm Beach County prenuptial agreement lawyer can help you determine which provisions to include in your antenuptial agreement.
How Much Financial Security Can You Forfeit in a Prenuptial Agreement?
In theory, prenuptial agreements provide solutions to all issues of division of property that might arise during a divorce case. In practice, spouses in the process of divorce sometimes ask the court to treat the prenuptial agreement as invalid. The court will uphold the validity of the prenup unless you can prove that your spouse used fraud, deception, or coercion to get you to sign, or else that your spouse was excessively vague about the value of his or her separate property. If your spouse misled you about the value of their assets, you could argue that if you had known the truth about your spouse’s finances, you would not have signed. In other cases, the court can decide that the prenup is unconscionable, and therefore unfair, if it would leave one spouse wealthy and the other destitute after a long marriage.
When Harry and Dianne married in 1986, both parties had considerable separate assets. In their prenuptial agreement, they specified that assets they acquired during the marriage would not automatically become marital property, as happens in marriages without a prenup. (If you don’t have a prenup, and you buy a house after your wedding, it is marital property even if only one spouse’s name is on the deed.) Instead, assets titled in both parties’ names would be marital property, while assets titled in one party’s name only would be separate property. In 2014, an appeals court ruled that the prenup was valid.
Let Us Help You Today
A Boca Raton family attorney can help you create a prenuptial agreement that will stand up to challenges in court, should those challenges arise. Contact Schwartz | White for help with your case.