This is the next article in a series focused on understanding prenuptial agreements in Melbourne, Florida. The previous post discussed the basics of Florida law applicable to prenuptial agreements. It also stressed the importance of hiring a family law attorney experienced in preparing and litigating prenuptial agreements to help you through the process. In this article, I will discuss the potential benefits an effective prenuptial agreement can provide to both spouses. If you need assistance, contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
As discussed previously, a prenuptial agreement is a contract signed by the husband and wife before they get married. The contract sets forth the couple’s intentions to keep certain assets and liabilities separate, during a marriage and in the event of a divorce. There are some obvious benefits to entering into this type of agreement. Many couples feel more comfortable getting married based on an understanding that their assets will not be marital property and therefore subject to division if they divorce in the future. Where both spouses have been previously divorced, for example, they may wish to protect their retirement accounts or interest in their home from potentially becoming marital property. The contract can provide certainty with respect to financial planning and protecting their respective assets.
There are other, less obvious, benefits of prenuptial agreements as well. For instance, in some states, a prenuptial agreement may provide one spouse with protection from the other spouse’s creditors. For example, if a spouse has significant credit card debt and the two have effectively separated all of their assets and liabilities in a prenuptial agreement, the creditors would not be able to seize assets or wages of the protected spouse to satisfy the debt. Similarly, if one spouse comes into the relationship with a tax liability to the IRS, an enforceable prenuptial agreement could provide the other with protection from wage garnishment. Further, business owners may need to demonstrate to investors that their ownership status of the business is not subject to division upon a divorce. For instance, outside investors may wish to confirm that the owner’s shares in the company have been retained as individual property pursuant to a valid prenuptial agreement prior to investing.
In order to avail themselves of these potential benefits, however, the couple should ensure that their contract is enforceable. For this reason, I can not overemphasize the importance of retaining experienced counsel to assist in the preparation of the agreement. A family law attorney can help you understand the specific rules to create a valid prenuptial agreement. If you need assistance contact my office today to speak with a lawyer. My office serves clients in the cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.