Prenuptial agreements, also known as antenuptial agreements, are a form of marriage contract. If drafted and executed properly, these agreements can provide varying degrees of certainty as to what will happen in the event of a divorce, as well as what happens in the event that one spouse passes away during the marriage.
Prenuptial agreements are often used to protect premarital assets or to waive alimony in the event of a divorce. Using these agreements, people wishing to get married can agree not only to what happens to them in a divorce, but can actually choose what law they want to apply to their marriage and/or change how the current or any future laws may apply to their divorce. One example would be that the wife waives her rights to alimony under Florida law in exchange for a lump sum payment equal to $50,000 for each year that the parties were married.
if you are contemplating marriage, you should strongly consider having a prenuptial agreement, especially if you or the other person has been married before, there are children from a prior marriage, or if you expect to receive an inheritance or trust income during the marriage.
There are several very important considerations with regard to prenuptial agreements. One is the timing of the execution. Ideally, the prenuptial agreement should be negotiated between the parties and executed at least several weeks in advance of the wedding, preferably before invitations have been mailed. A prenuptial agreement that is presented to the other spouse the morning of the wedding is probably going to be set aside by the court on the basis of duress. Other factors that the court will consider are whether there was financial disclosure between the parties and whether the parties were represented by independent counsel.
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