Prenuptial Agreements – How They Work and Why You Need One

Prenuptial agreements are not a new phenomenon. They actually date back to Ancient Egypt, when they were used to establish the money and assets that each spouse would bring to the marriage. It wasn’t until much later that wealthier families started having them drafted to protect the interests of higher-income spouses and, in many cases, prevent the other party from claiming a share of a substantial family estate.

Today, agreements that are too one-sided aren’t likely to be upheld by the court. There are ways that you can structure a prenuptial agreement that meets the ‘fairness’ standard without sacrificing your hard-earned wealth.

Designate Separate Property

In Florida, assets that belonged to each spouse prior to the marriage will typically remain theirs after divorce as long as it is kept separate. However, identifying that property in a prenuptial agreement can make it easier to maintain the designation.

Protect an Inheritance

When you expect to inherit assets during the marriage, a prenuptial agreement can contain provisions stating that the inheritance will remain yours—so long as it remains separate from the marital estate. This means transferring any money into a non-marital bank account and refraining from using marital funds to enhance the value of real property. 

Florida law recognizes inheritances as the sole property of the recipient spouse, but when you know in advance what you’re going to receive, covering those assets in a prenuptial agreement provides an extra level of security.

Protect a Business

A contentious divorce can destroy your business. The moment an angry spouse decides to make things as difficult for you as possible, the future of the company is on the line. Also at risk are the livelihoods of your employees and any vendors who rely on you for a high percentage of their income.

Florida is an equitable distribution state, so if you started the business while single and its value grew significantly during the marriage, the appreciated value will be treated as an asset during the divorce. You can indicate in your prenuptial agreement that after divorce, you retain the business while your spouse receives marital property of a value comparable to their contributions or any increased company value.

Questions? Contact a Florida Family Law Attorney

Prenuptial agreements have been compared to property insurance: you hope you’ll never have to use it, but if the worst comes to pass, you’ll be glad you have it in place. Attorney Heather Bryan will listen to your concerns and help you put together a legally valid agreement that protects your wealth while remaining fair to both sides. To schedule an appointment to go over your legal needs, reach out to our office today.

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Heather Bryan Law, P.A.

Our firm has experience defending Floridians against all sorts of criminal charges. Additionally, we are well-equipped to handle emotionally charged family law matters and devastating personal injury cases.

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