Marrying couples are long overdue for removing the stigma associated with prenuptial agreements. When will we stop regarding this critical legal aspect of marriage as merely ‘taboo’ and start recognizing it for what it really is – an intelligent arrangement between responsible adults.

We learn pretty early on in life that not everything is a fairytale. We need to wake up each morning and take responsibility for our own lives; going to work, paying the bills, making decisions that support our long term wellbeing. Prenuptial arrangements are part of the same package deal, however anti-romance they might seem by nature.

The reality is that 50% of marriages will fail in this current climate of marriage – one could certainly argue that having a prenuptial agreement in place is simply a matter of favoring the odds. We’re lucky that we have the ability to dissolve our marriages, especially when you consider how divorce used to be managed in America.

Divorce rates didn’t really increase until the turn of the 20th century. Prior to this time, it was taboo to divorce your husband or wife – even in cases of domestic violence or adultery. Once society reached a point where tradition was no longer regarded more closely than common sense, it became more acceptable for people to seek out a divorce.

What’s the point of this abbreviated tour through history? It’s simply that it’s only a matter of time before good judgment supersedes traditional expectations. Not to oversimplify the difficult subject matter of a prenuptial arrangement, but any responsible adult should welcome their partner’s wish to pursuit this aspect of their marriage.

You can’t plan for the unexpected so don’t find yourself left holding the bag if and when you’re headed for divorce. It’s time to stop approaching the subject of prenuptial agreements like a condemnation – in actuality, it’s ensuring you still have a foundation to stand on in later life.

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A celebrity couple with what seemed to be a strong marriage has recently separated.  According to People Magazine, two “close confidantes” of Michael Douglas and his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones said the couple is “taking a break” from each other.

Douglas and Zeta-Jones first met in France, began dating in 1999, and married in November 2000.  The couple have two children together, Dylan Michael and Carys Zeta. 

In recent years, the couple has endured several challenges.  Douglas announced he had throat cancer in 2010 and has been battling the disease ever since. In 2011, Zeta-Jones revealed she suffers from Bipolar II disorder.  It seems these stresses as well as that of being a celebrity couple has taken a toll on their marriage.

Although it’s reported that neither Douglas nor Zeta-Jones has filed for divorce or for legal separation, the two have not been  photographed together since April and have taken separate vacations with their children this year.

If the celebrity couple should divorce, a prenuptial agreement is in force.  Douglas learned after paying out $45 million in a divorce settlement to his first wife that it pays to have a pre-nuptial agreement and opted for one when he married Zeta-Jones.

It is important when planning a marriage that a couple be open about finances before vows are exchanged.  A prenuptial agreement gives a couple the opportunity to disclose all assets and property they each bring into a marriage.  A prenuptial agreement can protect each spouse in the future should a divorce occur.

When one spouse is substantially wealthier than the other, owns a business, has the potential to earn a large amount of money through stocks or inheritance, or is about to enter into a lucrative career, it would be wise to enter into a prenuptial agreement.  An experienced prenuptial agreement attorney in Florida will answer any questions that you may have and can assist you in outlining the terms of an agreement that will protect your marriage, your children and your assets.

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A prenuptial agreement, commonly referred to as a prenup, is a contract a couple enters into prior to marriage that contains provisions for division of property, spousal support, forfeiture of assets and other conditions as well should the couple divorce.

One New York woman, Elizabeth Petrakis, signed a prenup days before marrying millionaire Peter Petrakis.  Elizabeth claims her soon-to-be husband promised the premarital contract would be torn up as soon as children were born to the couple.

Unfortunately for Elizabeth, her husband did not honor his promise.  Three children later, twin boys and a daughter, the prenup is still intact.  For the past seven years, Elizabeth has been arguing with her husband to have the prenup torn up, which he refused to do.

Last month, her prenup was voided by a Brooklyn appellate court, which ruled that Peter misled Elizabeth and therefore ruled in favor of Elizabeth on the grounds of “fraud in the inducement.” 

Elizabeth’s lawyer, after the court’s ruling, stated he was “unaware of a vacated prenup in the state of New York on these or similar grounds.”

In the State of Florida, a prenup or premarital agreement, is enforceable unless it can be proved that:

  • The party did not execute the agreement voluntarily
  • The agreement was the product of fraud, duress, coercion, or overreaching
  • The agreement was unconscionable when it was executed

A prenuptial agreement offers a couple the opportunity to be open and frank about finances, assets and other property they bring into a marriage.  A prenuptial agreement does not increase the likelihood of divorce, but does make things easier if the marriage does not work out. An experienced Florida prenuptial attorney can can explain the advantages of entering into a prenuptial agreement, and can also assist you in outlining the provisions of the contract as well.

Original story found here.

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A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into prior to marriage by a couple who are planning to marry.  The usual content of a prenuptial agreement can vary widely, but commonly includes provisions for division of property and spousal support in the event of the breakup of the marriage.  The contract can also contain terms for the forfeiture of assets if the divorce has been granted on grounds of adultery.  There are times when the issue of guardianship is also included in a prenuptial contract.

In the past, judges in this country tended to disregard prenuptials agreements because they accepted the view that these contracts turned what was supposed to be the most intimate and sacred bond into a financial arrangement, but nowadays they are recognized, though they may not be enforced.  In the United States, prenuptial agreements are recognized in Florida and the other 49 states, as well as the District of Columbia, and require five elements to be valid.

  • the agreement must be in writing as oral prenuptials are generally unenforceable
  • full and/or fair disclosure at the time of execution
  • must be executed voluntarily
  • the agreement cannot be unconscionable
  • the agreement must be executed by both parties “in the manner required for a deed to be recorded”, which is known as an acknowledgment, before a notary public

In Florida as in other states, the prenuptial agreement, or as it is called in Florida, the Premarital Agreement, becomes effective upon marriage.  The agreement can be amended, revoked or abandoned, but only by a written agreement signed by both parties.

Although no couple goes into a marriage thinking they may divorce in later years, unfortunately there is a fifty-fifty chance that divorce is in their future, and there are times when a premarital agreement can be quite beneficial.

A prenuptial agreement protects one party who enters into a marriage with a larger amount of assets than that of his soon to be spouse.  It also protects the party who enters into marriage with a partner who has a high amount of debt in that after a divorce, the creditors will go after the owner of the debt and not his/her innocent partner.  If one partner in a marriage should pass away, a prenuptial agreement could keep previously acquired assets separate from his/her  current marital estate, ensuring that the children from a previous marriage receive part of the estate. 

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Years ago, the idea of a pre-nuptial agreement was only for the exceedingly wealthy looking to protect their fortunes. But in today’s world it is actually a sign of forethought for everyone.

A pre-nuptial agreement is simply a contract between spouses written before marriage in order to be able to divide up assets in the event that the marriage ends in divorce. While that doesn’t brim with romance, it does allow for protection the assets of the spouses should things go awry.

No one wants to think of marriage as a business arrangement, but in many ways it is. When two people are dating and the bluebirds are singing, it’s hard to imagine marriage as a business. Rather than looking at the pre-nup as a sign of doom, it is actually a way to learn up front how the other handles finances. It also helps prepare you, as a couple, in how you intend to move forward with regard to finances.

No one wants to talk about money and marriage, but money is at the top of the food chain when it comes to reasons for divorce. Laying financial matters bare and visible before tying the knot can be a perfect way to know in advance how your marriage will take on the strain of such things. These matters range from cash, to debt, to newly started businesses, to children from a previous relationship. All is laid out in the open so no frightening surprises rear their ugly heads down the line.

Pre-nuptial agreements have existed since the dawn of time, or so it would seem. In the early years of the United States, if a woman didn’t have an agreement ahead of time, she stood to lose everything in a divorce. Marriage for a woman meant complete transference of everything she owned or inherited to her husband. The Married Women’s Property Act of 1848 began in New York State and was the most comprehensive law with regards to what a woman could keep in the event of a divorce.

Protect yourself. Learn about your intended spouse. Grow together in financial understanding.

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