Prenuptial Agreements & Second Marriages
In the last few decades, statistics have shown that fewer people are staying married to their first spouse, and marrying a second time is more common than it used to be as well. With the increase in second and third marriages, however, has also come an increase in couples executing prenuptial agreements. It is more likely that people will come into a second marriage with significant assets and obligations, and a prenup can help preserve the status quo if that is what’s desired.
Many Different Concerns
Not every couple decides to use a prenuptial agreement in their second marriage, but the couples who do often have a host of different questions that they hope to answer in the agreement. While some couples may actually experience more problems as the result of a prenup – some actually break up because the prenup process is considered ‘too businesslike’ – it can be a lifesaving document for others. Florida law allows a wide range of concerns to be dealt with in a prenup.
Some of the primary concerns that couples want to deal with that can be addressed in a prenuptial agreement include:
- Ensuring that spouses and children from both first and second marriages are provided for, both during the marriage and upon your passing;
- Apportioning instruments like retirement accounts and life insurance policies;
- Specifying the separate property of each spouse;
- Working out responsibility for debts incurred during the period of the marriage; and
- Any other issue affecting the disposition of marital property.
Certain rights cannot be disposed of in a prenup – for example, the right of a child to support belongs only to that child, not to its future parents.
Make Sure Your Prenup Is Enforceable
While Florida law allows couples to cover a lot in a prenup, it is important – especially in a second marriage – to ensure that your prenuptial agreement remains enforceable and appropriate. There are certain issues that will make a prenup unenforceable, meaning that the court will dissolve the agreement itself. One of the major ones is duress – if one spouse does not have sufficient time to familiarize themselves with the proposed agreement before being made to sign on, they cannot be said to have signed voluntarily. A prenuptial agreement is a contract, and contracts must be a “meeting of the minds” – voluntary and knowing.
Another common cause for a prenuptial agreement being invalidated is fraud. In this context, fraud can be alleged when one spouse tries to conceal assets from the other, even though both spouses are required by law to divulge all their relevant financial information before a prenup can be signed. The same principle of ‘meeting of the minds’ applies – if all assets are not disclosed, a contract cannot be said to have formed.
Call A Hollywood Prenuptial Agreement Attorney
A second marriage should be a new beginning, but if there are too many questions, it can be easy to get bogged down in details. Contacting a Hollywood family attorney at the Law Offices of Steven A. Mason, P.A. can set you and your new spouse on a path to ensure your questions are answered. Attorney Mason has years of experience in these matters and will work hard on yours. Call the office today to schedule a consultation.