Prenuptial Agreements: What Should Your Agreement Cover?
When people fall in love and head over to the marriage aisle, they rarely think about divorce or the division of assets. Few couples, if any, think about a prenuptial agreement. Marriage, however, is not just a statement of a couple’s emotional commitment – it’s also a powerful legal and economic relationship. And this type of relationship must be carefully protected in case anything goes wrong.
Prenuptial agreements are not merely blueprints or plans for a quick divorce. They are excellent tools for financial and money management planning. Having a good prenuptial agreement can help you avoid financial loss in case your marriage falls apart. Talk to your prenuptial agreement attorney in Miami to learn more about prenups and how they can help you in the long run.
Preparing a prenuptial agreement is no easy task. You will need to work with a good prenuptial agreement lawyer in Miami to make sure you include everything. Contrary to popular opinion, prenups are not just for wealthy couples. Every couple who shares assets (a home, vehicles, or bank accounts) should have a prenuptial agreement. A good prenup can cover almost everything you want, but there are several exceptions.
So what should your prenuptial agreement include? How can a prenuptial agreement attorney in Miami help you? Let’s start:
What can your prenuptial agreement cover?
Prenuptial agreements vary depending on the jurisdiction, but there are some general rules on what can be protected. Here is a short list:
- division of property – how your assets are divided during a divorce
- the future ownership of the marital residence – who gets the house after a divorce
- responsibility of the premarital debts
- the distribution of properties upon death – in some cases, the prenuptial agreement may supersede the will; talk to your prenuptial agreement lawyer in Miami to learn more about this topic
- alimony obligations – there are some exceptions, depending on the jurisdiction
- how disputes are solved – either through arbitration or mediation
- the sunset clause – a prenuptial agreement may become void and null if you remain married for a predetermined number of years
Let’s delve deeper – what should your prenuptial agreement cover?
Prenuptial agreements can be customized depending on your specific situation or needs. However, the general structure of a prenup is essentially the same, no matter what it covers. Here is a breakdown of the most important elements to include. Each item described below can be further customized based on the couple’s or the individual’s needs. Always make sure to discuss each aspect with your prenuptial agreement lawyer in Miami before going forward. Let’s start:
#1 – Financial details
Prenups are primarily created to offer financial protection for spouses. Because of this, you will need to have full financial disclosure to your partner as you prepare for marriage. You will need to be open about your assets as well as your debts, even if it’s difficult. Simply put, your financial situation should be 100 percent transparent to your spouse. A good prenuptial agreement provides the opportunity for both parties to offer full financial disclosure. This allows each person to enter the marriage fully aware of the financial situation. Similarly, a transparent, open discussion about finances is a strong foundation for any marriage.
#2 – The assets or property acquired during the marriage
Every asset or property acquired during the marriage is considered marital property. This means that it will be equitably distributed during a divorce. In your prenup, you can mention which property can be or cannot be considered marital property. You can also mention how these assets will be treated in case of divorce.
#3 – Assets or property brought into the marriage
The assets or property you brought into the marriage are considered your separate property. In case of divorce, this property remains in your possession and is not divided among spouses. The prenuptial agreement can include stipulations for separate property, similar to marital property. Talk to your prenuptial agreement attorney in Miami to learn more about marital and separate property and how they can be included in a prenup.
#4 – Beneficiary designations
A prenuptial agreement is a great way to foster discussion about the beneficiaries for your retirement accounts or pensions. It’s also a great moment to make decisions about these assets – what happens if you pass away unexpectedly? Who are your beneficiaries? A good prenuptial agreement should include information about your beneficiaries and how the assets will be transferred.
#5 – Social media provisions
You’d be surprised, but many couples are beginning to include social media provisions in their prenuptial agreements. These clauses can include information about what posts or photos can be posted on social media, and in what conditions. For instance, your spouse must agree with your intention to post sensitive information publicly on social media platforms. These provisions can help protect both parties from the dissemination of sensitive information without prior consent from both parties.
#6 – Maintenance
Also known as alimony, maintenance is an important aspect to include in your prenuptial agreement. In the event of a divorce, you will likely be required by law to support the other spouse. If you decide to include provisions about alimony or maintenance, make sure to include details on how this action will take place. Your attorney will help you navigate through the technical requirements included. For instance, some couples choose to ignore this clause and will let the court decide how the alimony will be granted. No matter what your choice is, your attorney will review the legal and practical issues to be considered when waiving this right.
#7 – Pets
What will happen to your pets if you decide to get a divorce? This is a common question for many couples. A good prenuptial agreement can include provisions on pets. You can outline a plan for your pet – who will care for it, how, and who will support the associated costs. These provisions are important for many couples, so make sure you include a plan.