Prenuptial agreements are becoming more commonplace each year. Whereas they were once considered a tool of the wealthy, they are now just another task on the checklist of many engaged couples. The fact is that couples are waiting longer to get married, and the longer you wait to marry, the longer you have to amass assets. Creating a prenuptial agreement may be seen by your fiancé as a sign you don’t trust the strength of your relationship, but the truth is that a prenuptial agreement is more about protecting everyone involved by removing assets and liabilities from the equation.
If you have important investments and assets, you need to protect them if your marriage doesn’t last. A good first step is creating a prenuptial agreement that is as close to ironclad as possible. The basic perimeters require that it’s created by an attorney and notarized in front of witnesses. It’s important to remember certain issues must be addressed in your prenuptial agreement, and it should be as accurate and thorough as possible to make your prenuptial agreement less likely to challenge.
- Hire a Professional to Complete a Full Financial Disclosure: A financial disclosure will be a good-faith gesture showing your commitment to fairness. Don’t cut corners in hopes of speeding up the process. If you have a considerable number of assets, it can be time-consuming to locate all the insurance policies, car titles, and real estate deeds. Full financial disclosure means everything. Failure to include valuable property can be interpreted as fraud – which can get your prenuptial invalidated and thrown out.
- Be Precise: A prenuptial agreement is an important legal tool that has gotten a lot of bad press, but they benefit both parties in a relationship. Assets specifically addressed in your prenup will be easy to define as marital property or separate property. If your goal is to make your prenuptial agreement as effective as possible, it’s important to include every asset relevant to the pending marriage.
- Don’t Wait the Last Minute: A last-minute prenuptial agreement can be contested based on the timing of its execution. It can be seen as a form of coercion to wait until the wedding is imminent to begin working on a prenuptial agreement. Florida laws states that a prenuptial agreement is voided if it can be shown to have been signed under duress. Duress is defined as a stressful situation that doesn’t have to be threatening or involve physical force. It can be something as simple as the social shame of holding a prenuptial agreement discussion until a wedding is only days away. Professionals suggest working on the prenuptial agreement right after announcing an engagement.
- Don’t Include Disallowed Topics and Issues: It’s suggested that you hire an attorney to help you complete your prenuptial agreement because they will provide important guidance regarding issues and topics that are off-limits, like rules about appearance requirements or future child support.
Seek Experienced Legal Help On This Complex Issue
If your goal is an enforceable prenuptial agreement that is unlikely to be voided, your best chance at achieving that goal is to work with a knowledgeable and experience legal professional. Some pitfalls can keep you from achieving your goals if you aren’t careful. Tinny, Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A., has handled many of these cases over the years, and we are happy to sit down with you to ensure you are headed in the right direction with your prenuptial agreement. The most crucial element of creating an enforceable prenuptial agreement that’s unlikely to be voided is precision and fairness. If you are planning to get married and you need help creating a prenuptial agreement, the attorneys at Tinny, Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A., can help you create a mutually beneficial document to meet your goals. Call us at (727) 245-9009 to schedule a consultation.