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Basics of prenuptial agreements

With the recent news of Star Wars creator George Lucas marrying his longtime girlfriend, Ariel Investments president Mellody Hobson, we can't help but to speculate as to what their prenuptial agreement will include (if they decide to use one at all). Indeed, celebrity prenuptial agreements can certainly make headlines for the unique requests and requirements that come with them, as well as the trends that they set for young people seeking to tie the knot.

Unfortunately, the trends of infidelity penalties and cash payouts tend to give people unrealistic expectations about what prenuptial agreements are all about. Through this post, we will explain (in basic terms) how these agreements work.

Essentially, prenups are written contracts between people who will be married that establish protocols for asset division in the event the marriage does not work. A prenup can set guidelines over what will be considered marital property (as opposed to separate property) so that issues regarding the division of marital income or accumulation of retirement assets can be avoided.

Couples entering second marriages commonly use prenuptial agreements as they blend separate property together. This could include income from a business (or investments) owned with a former spouse, spousal maintenance payments, as well as child support.

Prenuptial agreements are recognized under Florida law as long as it can be shown that both parties had adequate notice and time to consider the terms of the agreement, that both parties made full disclosures of their assets and debts when the agreement was signed, and that no undue influence or duress was used in reaching an accord.

If you have questions about prenups, an experienced family law attorney can help.

Source: Bankrate.com, Prenuptial agreements: The basics

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