Many couples wonder, for one reason or another, whether or not they should sign a premarital agreement (also known as a prenuptial agreement or “prenup”) prior to tying the knot. The following are some reasons you may want to consider having such an agreement in Florida.
- To know what you are getting into. Though engaged couples are ideally in love and know each other very well, some people may keep some important information secret. For example, one spouse may be embarrassed of significant debt or poor financial habits. A premarital agreement allows you to sit down and put financial issues out in the open so there are no surprises after marriage. If your partner does, in fact, have a high amount of debt, a premarital agreement can state that only your partner will be responsible for the repayment of that debt if you get divorced.
- To protect your property. If you have property that you owned pre-marriage and you plan to make it the family home, your spouse will likely be entitled to a share of it in the event of a divorce. Premarital agreements can state that you will retain full ownership of your property should a divorce occur.
- To protect a business. In the same way that you likely want to protect your property, you also want to protect any businesses that you own with a premarital agreement.
- You and your partner have significantly different wealth. If you are substantially wealthier than your partner, a premarital agreement can limit their access to your fortune if you get divorced. Not only will this preserve your wealth for you, but it can also assure you that your partner is marrying you for the right reasons, and not for your money. On the other hand, if your spouse has more wealth than you, you can use a premarital agreement to protect yourself in the event of a divorce.
- To protect your estate plan. If you have a specific estate plan that you would like to protect that may involve leaving certain heirlooms or property to individuals other than your spouse, you can address this in a premarital agreement.
- To plan to be a stay-at-home parent. If you and your partner have discussed this and you plan to quit working and stay home to care for your children and the household, you will inherently give up future income, job experience, and other professional opportunities that may make more challenging for you to support yourself if you get divorced. A premarital agreement can protect you by setting alimony that will ensure you are able to support yourself until you begin working again.
- To make a divorce easier. Many different issues are involved in a divorce and arguments over these issues can drag on. If you decide many issues ahead of time in a premarital agreement, it will help the divorce process go faster and more smoothly.
If you have any questions regarding premarital agreement, do not hesitate to call Boca Raton family law attorney Alan R. Burton for assistance today.