What Can Happen Without a Prenup?

Talk of a prenuptial agreement, or “prenup”, can be a very touchy subject with a significant other. Often when one party has a substantial amount of money more than his or her partner, this topic is brought up. It is worth the conversation. Some people find prenups insulting and unromantic, while others think just think it’s a piece of paper that protects assets. Regardless of what either party believes, the two need to make this decision together on whether or not to go through with getting a prenup.

However, the couple should understand both sides of a prenuptial agreement. Not only should people learn how a prenup can benefit them, they should be made aware of what can happen without having one. If you do not have a prenup and end up filing for a divorce, certain assets you brought into the marriage may not be protected. When you don’t have a prenup, your assets are handed by the state and the court; a prenup can give couple control of the finances in the future (if divorce does occur) and the fate of their assets aren’t left to the court and state.

In Florida when you do not sign a prenup, all property acquired during the marriage is mostly likely considered martial property in the Florida Courts, whether or not the property (or asset) was in one or both names. Property that was purchased prior to the marriage may still be considered separate property during and after the divorce process, but this depends on, among other things, how it is titled, whether it appreciated in value and whether there were any improvements to the property.  This can become complicated and you may end up with a result that is different from how you intended to treat the property.

A prenup can be a valuable tool, but the decision to get one depends on your specific situation and goals. A prenup isn’t necessary for all. It’s best to seek out legal advice to learn what is best for your situation and how to best protect yourself and assets.

If you’re wondering if you need a prenuptial agreement or if you’re planning to draft one up, you’ll need your own legal counsel. Barkus Law offers family law, divorce, mediation, child support, child custody and prenuptial agreement services. If you are interested in a consultation or have any questions, click here. Barkus Law serves the Broward County, South Florida area.

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