I Do …. Do I?

First, comes the engagement “ring”, second, comes the wedding “ring” and third, comes the “suffer-ring.”

The most costly mistake of marriage can be made before you even walk down the aisle.  Last year, rising superstar, Katy Perry, learned this the hard way after deciding to end her 14 month marriage with British comedian, Russell Brand. Because the couple never signed a prenuptial agreement, Brand was entitled to an estimated $30 million from Perry’s fortune under California’s community property law. Even though Florida is not a Community Property State – You still need to protect your Assets.

Florida is an equitable distribution state.  This means, there is a presumption that marital assets should be distributed equally between the spouses, unless there is evidence of wrongdoing.   Moreover, your spouse can acquire an interest in your separate property assets if you commingle the assets and/or if the assets appreciate in value during the course of the marriage.

So what does this mean???

You need to be prepared.  You need to be proactive.  It is never too late to protect what is yours. That wise old saying, “It is better to be safe than sorry” definitely applies here. Whether you are planning on getting married or are already married, it is time to pop the real question:  Will you sign this agreement?

Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements are contracts between two people who intend to marry each other.  These agreements allow couples to create a “road map” that structures their  finances and other nonfinancial considerations according to a mutually predetermined plan. Since these agreements typically provide for the distribution of assets upon death or divorce, they serve an important role in effective estate planning.

Prenuptial agreements typically include the following provisions: the disposition of real and personal property rights upon divorce, legal separation or death; the disposition of life insurance death benefits, division of debts and liabilities and business interests, and other assets.  Among other things, you can also agree to or waive spousal support (alimony).

Postnuptial Agreements

Postnuptial agreements allow couples to formalize a plan with regard to marital and pre-marital assets – after they are legally married. SO IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO GET PREPARED.

This Article was written by Attorney, Sommer C. Horton, of the Horton Law Group, P.A.  If you have questions about the content of this Article or wish to further discuss prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements or estate planning, please feel free to contact Ms. Horton at 561-299-0018 for your free consultation.