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Property division and the prenuptial agreement

Years ago, many couples would get married soon after high school graduation. In today's world, however, the average Florida couple is typically several years older and each individual has already begun to establish himself or herself financially. With this in mind, many couples are discovering that a prenuptial agreement is a useful tool in both a possible property division agreement in case things do not work out as well as an avenue to discuss current financial situations and philosophies.

The first step in creating a prenuptial agreement is to develop an accurate statement of all assets and liabilities. This statement should include any property owned, stocks, bonds, savings accounts, insurance policies and more. Additionally, an accurate assessment of all liabilities should be included, including mortgages, car loans, credit card debt and student loans. A copy of these documents should be provided to the attorneys representing each individual.

The prenuptial agreement is also a good opportunity to discuss the potential for alimony in case things do not work out. While both individuals may work and be able to support themselves currently, it is possible that one individual may decide to leave the work force for an extended period of time. This is often done in order to take care of the family. However, when this individual later re-enters the workforce, his or her earning potential may be reduced. This may create the need for alimony at a later time.

The typical Florida couple does not go into the marriage assuming that they will later be making property division decisions. However, by discussing these topics now, there is the potential to head off future problems. Additionally, each individual will be entering the marriage with a better understanding of the overall financial picture.

Source: mediate.com, "10 Things to Consider Before Signing a Prenuptial Agreement", Debbie Smith, Sept. 14, 2017

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