WHAT CAN BE INCLUDED IN A PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT IN FLORIDA?
In preparation for your marriage, some couples consider the idea of a prenuptial agreement. However, some view this agreement as an expression of doubt that their marriage will last and a prenuptial agreement may remove some romance and bliss surrounding your wedding. Yet, a prenuptial agreement can alleviate some stress, provide peace of mind, and simplify your divorce process, should your marriage turn sour. An Orlando Divorce Attorney can help you to create your prenuptial agreement and ensure your rights are protected.
A prenuptial agreement is like any other contract. It is drafted and signed prior to marriage and will only become effective upon the marriage ceremony. It must be in writing and signed by both parties, however, unlike most contracts there is no physical consideration, such as an exchange of money. Rather, the consideration for a prenuptial agreement is the marriage itself. 61.079 Therefore, if you do not go through with your marriage after the creation of your premarital agreement, it will be null and void.
Although you are given free rein to divide your property as you wish, there are certain limitations that Florida statute provides regarding prenuptial agreements. Parties may contract with respect to: the rights and obligations to any property previously acquired or acquired in the future. This may include business ventures, bank accounts and how money may be invested. You will also contract, “the right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign, create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of, or otherwise manage and control property.” Further, couples will determine how the previously mentioned property will be distributed after a separation, dissolution, or death. The most common and typically contentious area of a prenuptial agreement is the award or waiver of alimony or spousal support. Contemplating your financial need of support in the future can be difficult therefore, couples find it difficult to waive or agree to spousal support. The final items you are able to include in this contract are any estate planning documents carrying out these provisions; rights to life insurance policies; choice of law governing the agreement; and any other matter, including their personal rights and obligations, not in violation of either the public policy of this state or a law imposing a criminal penalty.
These agreements are popular as they place you in full control of your marital and non marital property. They can remove the equitable distribution process that would occur if left up to a court to determine. The prenuptial agreement allows you to designate which property will be awarded to each spouse, and your distributions may not fall within the courts required equitable distribution process. However, your agreement will govern as long as statutory guidelines are adhered to. Marital debt can be handled in a similar fashion, as each credit card or mortgage payments may be distributed between the parties in this agreement. Your Orlando Divorce Attorney will help you to create an agreement that will be equitable to both parties should you divorce.
It is important not to look at a prenuptial agreement as a doubt your marriage will last. Rather, this document should be seen as a security policy, that protects your financial future and possible relationship with your spouse, as it removes the possible emotional side effects a litigious divorce may bring. When creating your agreement, consult with an experienced Orlando Divorce Attorney who can help you to create a financial guideline, address all possible contingencies, and protects you in your future.
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