What Can I Include in my Prenuptial Agreement?
Many engaged couples choose to sign prenuptial agreements before they marry. Having this type of document in place can make the divorce process more streamlined if the couple chooses to end their marriage later. It can also be used to ensure that a partner’s children from other relationships inherit part of his or her estate following his or her death.
Although it can seem like an awkward concept at first, do not be afraid to discuss a prenuptial agreement with your partner. Your lawyer can answer any questions you or your partner have about prenuptial agreements. Think of a prenuptial agreement like an insurance policy – you do not want to be in a position to have to use it, but if you are, you will be glad you have it.
Below are a few of the designations you can make in your prenuptial agreement. A prenuptial agreement can only be used to make designations related to your finances – it cannot be used to designate household chores, roles in the marriage, or impose specific lifestyle requirements.
Separate and Marital Property Designations
Under typical circumstances, assets obtained during a marriage are considered marital assets, which means they belong to both partners and must be divided equitably in the event of their divorce. Assets that are not part of this category are known as separate assets, and they are owned solely by one partner. With a prenuptial agreement, a couple can designate assets that would otherwise be marital property as separate property, such as the vehicles they purchase or business interests.
Prenuptial agreements are often used to keep separate property from becoming marital property through commingling. An example of commingling is if Spouse A owned a home before marrying and when Spouse B moves in, he or she covers part of the mortgage on the home and renovates it, increasing its value. Although Spouse A owned the house prior to entering the marriage, Spouse B’s contributions to its value at the time of their divorce may be appraised and divided equitably. With a prenuptial agreement, Spouse A can prevent Spouse B from having any right to receive a share of the home’s value in their divorce.
An Alimony Waiver
In some states, a prenuptial agreement cannot be used to waive an individual’s right to seek alimony in his or her divorce. This is not the case in Florida. If you and your partner determine that waiving either or both parties’ right to pursue alimony in your divorce is the right choice for you, you can include this stipulation in your prenuptial agreement.
How your Finances will be Handled During the Marriage
Your prenuptial agreement can designate how your jointly funded portfolios are to be invested, how your joint checking and saving accounts will be managed, and how you will manage your household debt as a married couple.
Support for your Existing Estate Plan
A prenuptial agreement is not an estate planning tool in itself, but it can be used to support other estate documents like a will or a living trust. A prenuptial agreement can be an important tool for a parent who wants to leave part or even all of his or her estate to children from a previous relationship.
Divorce and Family Lawyers at Draper Law Office can Help you Draft an Effective Prenuptial Agreement
Contact our team of experienced divorce lawyers at Draper Law Office online or by calling 866-767-4711 today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation in one of our two Central Florida offices.