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There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. In truth, drafting a prenup with your partner can help make your marriage be more equitable and strengthen the bond you share. After all, there's a reason why millennials are more likely to get prenups than previous generations, despite having a lower divorce rate.
At K. Dean Kantaras, P.A., our Palm Harbor prenuptial agreement lawyers can help you draft a comprehensive, equitable prenuptial agreement with your soon-to-be-spouse.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
Prenuptial agreements are legally binding contracts signed by two parties before they get married.
You can use a prenuptial agreement to:
- Keep your assets separate. Assets both parties contribute to may be considered "marital property" post-marriage. If one party wants to keep certain assets as separate property, a prenup can allow you to make that distinction.
- Determine how you handle liabilities, like debts. If one spouse has a substantial amount of debt, a prenup can protect the other spouse from shouldering any part of that burden in the event of a divorce or during the marriage.
- Provisions for family property and keepsakes. You can use a prenup to ensure that family assets, such as a family business, keepsake, or property, remain within the family in the event of a divorce.
- Strengthen your estate plan. A prenup can help you reinforce certain elements of your estate plan, such as who gets Power of Attorney if you become medically incapacitated.
- Decide how you want to handle property division in the event of a divorce or separation. The ability to determine how you'll distribute assets and liabilities with your partner if you get divorced is probably the most well-known part of prenuptial agreements.
However, you cannot use a prenup to:
- Decide how you'll handle child custody, timeshare arrangements, or child support. If you share a child with your spouse and end up filing for a divorce, you'll need to take care of the child custody and support process in court. How courts calculate child support and custody depends largely on the parent's circumstances post-divorce and the child's best interests, so you can't include provisions for those processes in your prenup.
- Determine spousal tasks or person-based requirements. For example, you can't use your prenup to divvy up chores with your spouse or prevent them from altering their appearance during your marriage.
As you can see, prenuptial agreements have various uses beyond the commonly known ability to make preparations for the property division process. A prenup can be a useful tool for any couple.
How Do I Get a Prenup in Palm Harbor?
Fortunately, getting a prenup in Florida is fairly simple.
You and your partner must choose separate attorneys for the prenup process. Your attorneys will work with you to ensure the prenup is fair for both parties, and that the agreement helps both partners safeguard their best interests.
Both parties must fully disclose their finances as part of the prenup process. This can actually be a valuable opportunity for spouses to bond with one another and lay the foundations for good money management practices as they progress into their marriage.
Both parties and their attorneys work together to decide what to include in the prenup, based on the guidelines we covered earlier. Once both parties agree that the prenuptial agreement is equitable, they'll sign it. If both soon-to-be-spouses sign the prenup voluntarily, it becomes legally binding once the marriage is finalized.
If the spouses ever get divorced, or one passes away or becomes medically incapacitated, a court will examine the prenuptial agreement. Courts can find prenuptial agreements invalid if:
- One party didn't sign the agreement voluntarily;
- One party signed the agreement as the result of fraud, duress, coercion, or overreaching; or
- The court determines that the prenup is unconscionable. The court may consider a prenup unconscionable if one party failed to fully disclose their finances, did not waive the right to financial disclosure, or the prenup includes blatantly unfair terms.
At K. Dean Kantaras, P.A., our Palm Harbor prenup attorneys can help you work with your partner to draft an equitable, legally sound prenup that helps strengthen your marriage.
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