Understanding the bare basics of prenuptial agreements

For Florida couples who are preparing to wed, a prenuptial agreement can be a valuable financial planning tool. These marital contracts are incredibly flexible, and they can be used to cover a wide range of circumstances and goals. However, most prenuptial agreements follow the same overall structure, and cover many of the same basics. Beyond that, couples can choose to include the items that are of importance to them, both individually and as a couple.

One of the primary goals of a prenup is to establish how assets will be divided in the event that a marriage ends in divorce. A significant part of that process involves determining what property will be considered separate property and what will be considered marital property. This will create guidelines for how different aspects of a couple’s combined wealth would be handled if the need for property division should arise.

Another consideration is which party would be responsible for paying the legal fees that accompany a divorce. In some cases, parties agree that each person would be responsible for  his or her own legal fees. Others agree that the party who is seeking the divorce or who caused the marriage to end will shoulder the brunt of the legal fee burden.

Spousal support is another area of focus within a prenuptial agreement. Here again, the possibilities are endless. Some couples will go into great detail about which party would receive what level of support, for how long and under what conditions. Others are content to simply outline the basics of how spousal support would be provided.

Florida couples who are considering their options should feel good about the proactive stance that they are taking as they prepare to move forward as a family. Prenuptial agreements are powerful tools, and they can make a world of difference if they are ever needed to be called into action. For those couples who will remain happily wed for the rest of their lives, a prenup is simply an insurance policy against an outcome that will never come to pass.

Source: businessinsider.com, “ASK A FINANCIAL PLANNER: ‘What should I include in a prenup?’“, Sophia Bera, April 17, 2016

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