Reasons To Sign A Prenuptial Agreement
Prenuptial agreements, or prenups, tend to be seen as an implicit failure on the part of one or both halves of a couple by many. They argue that a prenup is proof that the marriage is not being entered into in good faith, or that it presupposes the possibility of divorce. In reality, some of the best reasons to sign a prenuptial agreement are directly counter to these arguments.
You are much wealthier than your future spouse, or you earn much more than they do. This one is the primary reason that many couples execute prenuptial agreements – to control potential cash loss. Some find this unappealing, but some also see it as a way to limit a potential alimony award if a divorce turns ugly. Some states do not permit alimony to be affected by prenuptial agreements, but Florida is not one of them; the statute specifically permits a couple to set at least provisional terms for alimony if the marriage ends.
This is not your first marriage. Due to intestacy laws, if you pass unexpectedly without a will, your assets may go to your current spouse and the children of your current marriage, with nothing distributed to the children of your first marriage. A prenuptial agreement can specify disposition of certain assets if you wish to provide for people other than those specified in Florida’s intestacy statute.
You are part owner of a business. Without a prenuptial agreement, if you are divorced, your spouse may wind up owning that part of the business, which may make your partners’ lives more difficult.
If you or your spouse is a stay-at-home parent. Generally, the law holds that child rearing can be a full-time job, but is not necessarily always. Still, in many instances, a prenuptial agreement can be a lifesaver for the spouse who gives up their highest-earning years to raise children, most often the wife. Many divorcing spouses try to argue that the single parent is not entitled to spousal support because they voluntarily chose to have children or stay home to take care of them; a prenup can nip that argument in the proverbial bud.
You or your partner has significant debt. Specifically enumerating who is responsible for specific debts in a prenup can eliminate weeks and months of hassle during divorce proceedings. Generally, the spouse with the greater earning potential will be responsible for more debt, but there are countless exceptions to this rule, and if you and your partner want to be positive about who will handle debts, placing stipulations in your prenup is often the best way to settle the issue.
Contact A Family Lawyer
If you are considering marriage, and want to protect both you and your spouse, speaking to an attorney about a prenuptial agreement can be advantageous. The skilled Hollywood family lawyers at the firm of Steven A. Mason, P.A. can help you and your future spouse decide on the best way to set up a prenuptial agreement so that you are both well protected for the future. Contact the Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood Law Offices of Steven A. Mason, P.A. for legal advice at 954-963-5900 or leave a message online.