When one hears the term pre- or post nuptial agreement, he or she may assume that these documents are intended as a safeguard for the wealthy. In reality, these tools can be an asset to anyone when it comes to the property division aspect of an impending divorce. Even those Florida residents who do not believe they own enough assets can benefit from implementing these agreements -- whether or not they ever seek a divorce.
Planning for an eventuality is a prudent measure, and having a secure plan in place in case a marriage ends in divorce can also provide peace of mind for even the most happily married couples. Pre- or post-nuptial agreements may allow spouses to circumnavigate some state laws provided the agreement is executed properly. There are also steps that need to be implemented to ensure that these contracts are valid at the time of a divorce or after the death of a spouse.
The protection of separate property is the goal when these contracts are drafted. In order to ensure that the properties or assets are indeed separate, spouses will benefit from maintaining separate accounts for those assets that are solely owned. In addition, if any of these funds or assets are co-mingled in a joint account, then it will become more difficult to ensure that they are not counted as joint property in the event of a divorce.
Other measures spouses can take is to keep detailed records of separate property and ensure that those records are kept current. These agreements can also provide a measure of protection from creditors as well as help with certain aspects of estate planning. Every state has its own laws when it comes to divorce and property division. Therefore, Florida residents who are interested in protecting privately owned assets in the event of a divorce may seek the advice of an experienced family lawyer attorney who can guide them in taking proactive measures.
Source: timesleader.com, "Their view: You're married, but your assets don't have to be", Liz Weston, Feb. 15, 2018