Author Kristen Houghton brings up some interesting points in her article, Happiness May Be A Prenuptial Agreement (from the Huffington Post):
[A] pre-nup isn’t just for royals or the wealthy, anyway. Though much more common in the case of a second marriage (especially if children from a previous one are involved), a prenuptial agreement is not such a bad idea for a “first” marriage either. And you don’t have to be Donald Trump to request a pre-nup. Many young couples are either toying with the idea or have actually seriously talked about it.
The classic pre-nup is a legal contract which operates by ensuring that if a couple divorces, any possessions each had before marrying would remain their own and not be divided as part of the marital pool. You can make a pre-nup very individual, but traditionally, both sides are entitled to 50 percent of any income earned during the marriage period. If one of the partners earned little or nothing throughout the marriage, they’d be allowed to be given a percentage of their partner’s earnings and possibly part of a future pension.
A prenuptial agreement can set your mind at ease. While this may make marriage seem like a deliberately calculated chess move, it is not as cold as it sounds, and — if both partners are comfortable with this contract — it can actually add to the happiness of the married couple. Practically speaking, there are benefits for both concerned. While you may have to stick with certain legalese, you and your partner can make changes and include whatever makes you happy and secure.
When should you bring up the subject of a prenuptial agreement? Here’s a hint: Don’t wait until the week before the wedding! Ideally, this topic should be broached when you’re moving into the permanent stages of a relationship. This is the time when you may be talking about marriage as a not-too-distant fact, and many issues involving this situation are being discussed.
Choose separate lawyers to work out the contract. Ideally, the lawyer each of you chooses should be someone who puts your best interests first. The lawyers know how to include what each of you wants in language that will make it legally clear.
Don’t ever make this a one sided issue. Openly discuss what you both feel should be included in the document. Make sure to mention what will become of all future assets accumulated as a married couple. As far as the law goes, the best part of having a pre-nup is that you are not depending on the divorce laws of any state to protect you financially. You are deciding that what the two of you want is different from the contract that state law would give you in the case of a divorce. You — not the state — are making the decisions about your life.
Keep in mind that, in Florida, certain issues such as child custody and child support may not be enforced by the court system, even if both parties agree to them in a prenuptial agreement.
Feel free to contact The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or visit us online at www.familydiplomacy.com if you have questions regarding your prenuptial agreement, postnuptial agreement, or marital settlement agreement.