A Prenuptial Agreement Can Protect Your Property and Assets in the Event of Divorce
If you are considering getting married, Thomas C. Saunders, K.C. Bouchillon, or J. Matthew Kelly can ensure that your prenuptial agreement is written professionally and correctly. Also known as a prenup, a prenuptial agreement is a written contract agreed to and signed by two people prior to marriage. The prenup typically outlines each party’s assets and debts, and what the rights to the property are after the marriage and in the event of divorce. If you are getting married and need to draft a prenuptial agreement, Saunders Law Group in Lakeland and Bartow, FL, can ensure the contract is valid.
“Though many still view prenups as something only wealthy couples do, with the rise of divorces and remarriages, the agreements are becoming more common among couples within various financial standings.”
Who Should Consider a Prenup?
Though many still view prenups as something only wealthy couples do, with the rise of divorces and remarriages, the agreements are becoming more common among couples within various financial standings.
You may wish to consider a prenup if you have children from a previous marriage so you can leave a portion of your assets or property to them. A prenup can help spell out these specifics to ensure your children are provided for. You might also need legal assistance if you want to:
- Clarify each party’s financial rights and responsibilities
- Protect yourself from your spouse’s debt
- Keep certain property, such as an heirloom or family business, within your birth family
- Determine how property and assets will be divided in the event of divorce
Prenups can contain a wide range of other information regarding finances and assets, such as how you will file your tax returns, whether or not you will have joint bank accounts, and more.
What Could Happen if I Forego a Prenup?
Without a prenup, property ownership is determined by state law. In the event that you and your spouse divorce, any property acquired during the marriage is considered marital property and the courts can decide how that property should be distributed. In some cases, the state can also distribute some of the property you owned prior to marriage, generally considered “separate” property.
Without a prenup, each spouse has a right to joint ownership of marital property, incur and pay for each other’s debts, and have a say in the management and control of marital property. In the event of divorce or death, the courts generally try to fairly distribute the marital property—and debts—between both spouses. If you do not wish to have your property divided equally and fairly between the two of you, a prenuptial agreement may be an appropriate solution for you.
Drafting Your Prenup
While you can draft your own prenuptial agreement, it is highly advisable that you seek counsel from an experienced attorney. There are a number of things that cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement, and a court may rule your prenup invalid if you attempt to include those items. Some items that cannot be included in a prenup are:
- Restrictions regarding child support, custody, or visitation
- Using financial incentives to encourage divorce
- Non-financial matters, such as the division of household chores or decisions about having and raising children
To avoid the court declaring your prenup invalid, our attorneys can help you write up a clear and understandable agreement that will hold up in court, if necessary.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you are getting married and are considering a prenup, contact our law firm today to schedule a consultation. If you are already married, we can also help you draft a postnuptial agreement.
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