What is a prenuptial agreement and why you might need one.

There are roughly 2.4 million weddings in the United States every year. That’s great news, but sadly enough, 45% of all first marriages end in divorce. You know, the average cost of a divorce in Florida is $13,500, if you don’t have children involved. If there are kids involved, the average cost of a divorce in Florida skyrockets, up to well over $20,000. A prenuptial or premarital agreement is a tool that you can use to help protect yourself, lessen the amount of time, and the amount of expense that might be involved ultimately, if your marriage ends in a divorce.

So, what is a premarital agreement? Just like it sounds, it’s an agreement that you and your future spouse enter into before your marriage. Hence the term premarital or prenuptial before you give your nuptials. And what does it do? When you get married, your spouse by law has certain rights that get given to them because of the fact of your marriage. A typical premarital or prenuptial agreement seeks to modify and change those laws that go into place when you get married. The primary areas where we see changes in the law involve if one of the spouses were to die or if your marriage ends in a divorce. Those things can be resolved by the parties both agreeing before they get married on what will happen under those circumstances. Now, premarital agreements can be very, very extensive. Things like how much gas you can leave in the car, but for the most part, that is not the case. Most of the time, it’s to address what happens if one of the spouses dies, or if, sadly enough, your marriage does end in a divorce.

So, who could benefit from one? We typically find that either people who are getting married, where one person has a significant amount of assets before the marriage and they want to protect those assets, and more commonly if it’s a second marriage in one or both people who are getting married already have children of their own and they wish to maintain their estate and their distributions of their estate to their children, at least create the right to do that. It’s a very formal document and a very formal process, but it’s a very important one for many people, and one that should be considered if you might fall into that situation.

So, if you’d like to talk further about your particular situation and whether a premarital or prenuptial agreement is appropriate for you give us a call. We’ll be happy to sit down and look at your situation and help give you advice.