If you have heard about prenuptial agreements, then you have probably heard some of the negative stigma that surround them in our society. Most people think that drafting a “what to do if we divorce” agreement is the same as a “what to do when we divorce” agreement. The truth is that a prenuptial agreement is nothing more than a smart legal choice to avoid headaches and legal obstacles just in case one or both spouses decide a divorce is necessary later. When done correctly, the benefits of a prenup will far outweigh any uncertainty that might have arisen due to the social predispositions regarding them.
What Does a Prenuptial Agreement Do?
In order to benefit from a prenup, you must first understand what it is and why one would be made. Prenuptial agreements – and post-nuptials that are drafted after a marriage instead of before – predetermine how property division and spousal support will be decided in the event of a divorce. You and your spouse-to-be are encouraged to work on a prenuptial agreement together but it is not necessary; you can create one all by yourself if you prefer to work privately. However, a prenuptial needs to be signed by both parties for it to become official.
Furthermore, a prenuptial agreement cannot be unfairly one-sided. That is to say, there cannot be provisions that clearly disenfranchise or otherwise harm the wellbeing of one of the spouses and greatly benefits the other. Even if both spouses willingly sign a one-sided prenuptial agreement, a judge will likely deem it unenforceable and the state will take over the proceedings once covered in that marital contract.
Lastly, a prenuptial agreement cannot include any provisions that will impact the lives of any of your children. A family law court must always rule in the best interests of a child. Since best interests will change based on how a living situation or family changes, it will only rule on child custody, child support, visitation, and so on at the actual time of the divorce, assuming that the prenuptial could not accurately reflect a child’s needs at the time it was drafted.
Why You Might Want a Prenuptial Agreement
The obvious benefits of a prenuptial agreement are that they often save both time and money, which in turn leads to less stress. Although, prenuptials are more often used in unique family law situations that would otherwise become quite complicated without such an agreement in place.
People tend to create and sign a prenuptial if they find themselves in one of the following scenarios:
- One or both spouses have been married before.
- One or both spouses have children from a previous marriage or relationship.
- One spouse earns a much greater amount of income than the other.
- One spouse owns a business or acts as an executive for a company.
In the end, you will have to decide if a prenuptial is right for your upcoming marriage or not. Reaching that decision will be much easier if you work with a Boca Raton family law attorney from Schuttler, Greenberg & Mullins, LLC, though. We bring 75+ years of total legal experience to each case we manage and always take a client-first approach to proceedings. With our assistance, you can draft a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement that works for both you and your spouse, and that a court will find legally sound.
Learn more about our family law services by contacting our law firm today.