Thinking of Getting Married in The New Year? Prenuptial Agreements Are the Way to Go!
For many couples, especially older couples who have been married before and have experienced a difficult and heart-wrenching divorce, the idea of a prenuptial agreement makes a lot of sense. While prenuptial agreements may not seem particularly romantic, they are a very practical way of ensuring that should a happily ever after turn into a time to exit the marriage, certain assets and liabilities (debts) will remain with the party to whom they belong before marriage. Such assets as real property, a business, high-end equipment, collections such as stamps or pictures, valuable jewelry, a yacht, and a pet could be included in a prenuptial agreement. Liabilities such as credit card debt, a personal loan, and medical bills can also stay with the party who is responsible before marriage. Other concerns that can be addressed in a prenuptial agreement are alimony (except for temporary alimony), retirement, the payoff from an ongoing lawsuit, and money owed to the government, such as taxes. Attorney fees, child support, parent plans, and parental timesharing cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement.
Some couples choose to prepare the prenuptial agreement without using the advice and help of a Marital and Family law lawyer. Unfortunately, the rules for a prenuptial agreement that will hold in court, should that become necessary, are very strict, and often a couple will not know the correct way to draw up a prenuptial agreement, and their agreement will be canceled by a judge.
If you are thinking of creating a prenuptial agreement, here are the basic guidelines:
- The document must be in writing. No other form, such as texts, emails, or tape recordings, will be accepted.
- The completed prenuptial agreement must be signed by each party, with two witnesses and a notary present to notarize the document.
- An in-depth financial disclosure from each party must be submitted along with the document. If, in the future, it is proven that information was left out or falsified, the prenuptial agreement will instantly become null and void. Sometimes a judge will then favor the abused party when it comes to the division of marital assets and debts.
- At the time of signing, if either party does not speak or read English, an interpreter must be present to read the entire document. Time must be allowed for asking questions in the language of the needful party.
- Neither party must be coerced or bullied into signing. If, at a later date, there is proof of a forced signing, the document will become invalid.
- It is highly recommended that each party retain a lawyer to draw up their part of the prenuptial agreement. A lawyer of similar status must be retained for each party, or a judge may rule the document unacceptable. If one party can afford a lawyer and the other can’t, it is in the best interest of the party with money to hire a lawyer for the other party. Most judges are very concerned about making the divorce proceedings as fair as possible and have the power to not allow a prenuptial agreement into the final rulings of a divorce.
Prenuptial agreements are a good idea for many couples, but it is important to make sure all the t’s are crossed, and the i’s are dotted. So, if you are looking for a lawyer to work with you in developing a prenuptial and live in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough, or Orange Counties in Florida, or New York or Washington DC, you can check with Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Grant Gisondo. For over a decade, Attorney Gisondo has successfully worked with persons who want a prenuptial agreement. He offers a free, initial, in-office consultation to answer general questions and share how he can help. His office number to call for an appointment is (561) 530-4568. Please visit his website, http://gisondolaw.com, to learn about Attorney Gisondo and his Marital and Family Law practice.