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Building a prenup with property division in mind

Many people hold to misunderstandings about a prenuptial agreement. Some see it as bad luck or an omen that the marriage will not last, while others think that such a document is only for high-net-worth couples. A prenup is actually agreed upon by both parties to decide how the couple's assets would be divided in the event of a divorce. Florida is known as an equitable distribution state, meaning that marital property is divided fairly in a divorce, though not necessarily equally. If the couple has a valid prenup, that contract would control. 

The act of creating a prenuptial agreement to protects one's assets is simply a smart idea before entering a marriage. It is basically a type of insurance policy, just in case the marriage doesn't work in the future. When a person buys homeowner's insurance, the hope is that the policy will never be needed. The same is true of a prenup. It can also offer protections when one of the spouses dies by preserving any inheritance that is to be passed down to that spouse's children from a prior relationship.

A prenuptial agreement may be contested in court. Nevertheless, it will typically take strong evidence of unfairness or other overreaching to be declared invalid. Most agreements focus on the division of property and assets should a divorce occur. Issues such as child custody, visitation and other parenting decisions are generally outside the purview of these marital agreements.

Anyone who is considering a marriage in Florida may want to consult with an experienced family law attorney about a prenup. Those who are considering a divorce and already have a prenuptial agreement in place can also benefit from speaking with a family law lawyer. In both cases, the attorney can guide the client in the best way to achieve a fair and lasting settlement.

Source: wealthmanagement.com, "Seven Steps to Building a Better Prenup", Jeffrey A. Weissman, May 11, 2017

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