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They aren’t romantic, but they are practical. Prenuptial agreements have been around for years. They provide a way for individuals to protect the assets and property they bring into a marriage. They also determine what should happen to the various financial pieces should the marriage end. At its most basic level, a prenuptial agreement is a contract, agreed to by both parties, that inventories the premarital assets so the original owner retains rights to that property. Some “prenups” go deeper, spelling out details such as alimony and death benefits. However, in Florida, a prenuptial agreement cannot be used to determine child custody or child support. The court sets support based on the ability of each spouse to pay at the time of the divorce.
Prenups are gaining in popularity. A 2013 survey of divorce lawyers by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that 63 percent reported an increase in the number of prenups drafted. When the AAML revealed its findings, president Alton Abramowitz said in a release, “As the financial and real estate markets continue to improve, there is a greater awareness of risk to possibly sharing these gains in a divorce.”
Millennials and those in second or third marriages are likely to enter into prenuptial agreements. For example, some millennials are not interested in taking on the hefty student debt of a new spouse. Those entering into second marriages are more interested in ensuring that their assets end up with their children from a previous marriage, and not the new partner’s children.
So before signing a prenuptial agreement, let’s consider some of the pros and cons.
Prenups can include a “sunset clause.” Essentially, this means the premarital agreement is in effect for a predetermined amount of time, say, 10 years. So if the marriage lasts, both parties can feel more comfortable knowing that the prenup will expire.
Consult a family law attorney to determine if a prenuptial agreement is right for you.
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