Discussing prenuptial agreements during engagement

Florida couples who have recently gotten engaged usually don't have divorce on their minds. However, if they are considering a prenuptial agreement, shortly after the engagement may be an ideal time to talk about plans regarding the marriage and what will happen in the event it doesn't work out.

A prenuptial agreement often provides a blueprint for financial and property settlements in the event of divorce. The topic should be broached well in advance of the wedding, so that the other partner doesn't feel ambushed or coerced into signing the agreement after months of wedding planning. The conversation should address the reasons why such an agreement would be desirable, such as wanting to protect assets for children from a previous relationship.

People who are considering a prenuptial agreement should be prepared to be transparent and honest. There must be full and complete disclosure regarding a person's financial condition for the agreement to be valid and enforceable. Listing specific assets now can help down the road when a party must attempt to show which assets are considered separately owned, rather than marital property. Both parties should be prepared to negotiate the terms of the prenuptial agreement, expecting some give and take during the process.

While the most common provision in a prenuptial agreement deals with how property will be divided in the event that the marriage ends in a divorce, other topics are often included, such as the parties agreeing not to seek spousal support. There are, however, subjects that have no place in a prenuptial agreement. Sections dealing with child custody or child support will be deemed unenforceable by a court.

Source: The Huffington Post, "How to Request a Pre-Nup and Still Get Married", Daniel Clement, January 24, 2014

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