Set Up a Prenuptial Agreement with Help from a Cape Coral Family Lawyer
Getting married is one of the happiest times in a persons life, however, because more people are waiting to marry until later in life, it can mean making provisions to protect assets and financial investments. Some couples getting married will have a home, business, investments, real estate and other assets which they will want to remain separate from the marital estate, and this is why prenuptial agreements are now commonplace. Any time a couple wants to draw up a marital or prenuptial agreement, it is necessary to hire a Cape Coral family lawyer.
A prenuptial agreement can also be referred to as a premarital agreement or antenuptial agreement, and it is a contract between a man and woman, written up and signed before they get married. A prenuptial agreement often describes what each person has in terms of property and/or assets before the marriage and what each partys rights will be in the event of divorce or death. Premarital agreements most often deal with issues concerning property and spousal support, and who is entitled to what property and how much support will be awarded in cases of divorce.
Questions Regarding a Prenuptial Agreement
There are many questions concerning what a spouse will be giving up in the event of signing a prenuptial agreement. When a premarital agreement is signed, a spouse agrees to have his or her property rights and support responsibilities established by the agreement, rather than based on the usual rules or laws of the state. An agreement can either award a person more or less than what are standard rules under the laws and in most states, the courts divide property on what is considered to be a fair basis. The prenuptial agreement could allow a 50/50 split of assets and property, or something else. If a spouse dies during the marriage and has signed a prenuptial agreement, the surviving spouse is entitled to either a third or half of the marital estate, regardless of what state laws dictate.
Who Signs a Premarital Agreement & Why?
Why would someone voluntarily sign a premarital agreement if it meant receiving substantially less than what is allowable under the law?
Every Case is Unique
Because each case is unique, there could be a number of answers to this puzzling question, some wish to control their assets and fiscal relationship rather than leave it up to the state, in the event of death or divorce. Others want to avoid uncertainty about what it would mean if there were to be a divorce and the case went to trial. The most common reason a person may want to sign a prenuptial agreement is because of wanting to marry someone wealthy and not being motivated by money. People may not like the idea of a premarital agreement, but will sign it and take their chances and hope the relationship will not end in divorce.
Must Be Signed By Both Parties
A prenuptial agreement will need to be made valid before it is legally binding, and the document must be written out and signed by both people. In most states, the parties involved must fully and clearly disclose in writing, their income and assets to one another. In some states, it is possible to waive disclosing financial records to each other, but the waiver should be done knowingly and this situation is best handled by a Cape Coral family lawyer, if there are questions and concerns.
The premarital agreement between two people should never be done under duress or coercion, because it could be grounds for fraud or ruled invalid if one person deliberately misrepresents his or her financial position. If one person puts a lot of emotional pressure or stress on the other person, a court may declare the contract invalid on those grounds.
Lawyers Are Not Required, But Should I Get One?
Neither party must be represented by an attorney when considering a prenuptial agreement, but it is foolish not to.
Lawyers can help ensure the document is drafted properly and that both parties are completely informed and understand the terms and conditions of the agreement, before signing anything. The less wealthy party should always have an attorney review the agreement, even if it is done on a non-contractual basis; it is still a good idea. Although a person does not necessarily need an attorney, the agreement is more likely to be enforceable if each persons has their best interests represented and protected.
What Happens In The Event Of A Divorce?
The laws of Florida do not state a premarital agreement must provide for a certain amount of support in the event of a divorce.
In some cases, though rare, a court may decide an agreement is enforceable, even if it leaves one spouse with no property or support from the other. In deciding if the agreement is enforceable, a court will examine the circumstances which could have changed since the couple was married, such as if there were children born, a career was given up or if there have been healthcare changes in either party.
Speak With a Lawyer To Clear Any Confusion
Making the decision to get married is one of the most exciting and emotional times in a persons life, especially if one party requests the other to sign a premarital agreement. While these matters may be uncomfortable to discuss with each other, for people of wealth and affluence, it is almost standard. If you are in the midst of getting married and need advice about a premarital agreement, consulting with a Cape Coral family lawyer is a good idea because it ensures your rights and interests are protected and observed at all times.