Getting Married? Own a Business? Consider a Prenup
The good news is that the divorce rate is declining. The bad news? Divorce can wreak havoc on all aspects of your life. If you don’t have a prenuptial agreement in place, a divorce can cause you to lose your money, your house, your vehicles and even your business.
This is why you need to take proper precautions. Before you get married, think about what assets you own and what would happen if you were to split them in a divorce. If you own a business, you need protection. You can get this in the form of a prenuptial agreement.
A prenup is one of the only things that can help your business survive a divorce. This contract is entered by both spouses before marriage. A prenuptial agreement outlines each person’s assets and defines their value. Some states do not allow prenups, but Florida does.
Prenuptial agreements are becoming more common. This is largely because people are getting married later in life. When a person gets married in their early 20s, they may not have many assets to protect. This changes, though, as a person gets older and marries in their 30s or 40s.
By this point, some people have well-established businesses. These companies may be worth hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Having to split a business in a divorce can be financially and emotionally devastating.
Even a business you started before getting married can end up becoming marital property. If your spouse contributes to the business in any way, it is no longer separate property. If there is ever any disagreement over whether an asset is separate or marital property, the default tends to lean toward marital property.
Florida is an equitable distribution state, so in a divorce, all assets are split fairly. This does not necessarily mean 50/50, but could be 60/40, 70/30, 80/20 or some other combination. The only way to get around this is to draft and sign a prenuptial agreement before saying “I do.”
Prenuptial agreements can provide financial security and peace of mind in a marriage. When executed properly, prenups are enforced in Florida. As long as the document meets legal requirements, a judge will uphold it. This means there must be no fraud involved. The assets must all be disclosed, at the appropriate value. Also, the prenup must be signed willingly. If you forced or coerced your future spouse to sign it, or made them sign it while intoxicated or unconscious, then it will be considered invalid.
Seek Legal Help
Those with significant assets should consider a prenuptial agreement before tying the knot. A business can be worth more than you think, so don’t overlook it if you plan to get married in the near future.
Don’t let a divorce ruin your business and your future. Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney Edward J. Jennings, P.A. can determine if a prenuptial agreement is right for you. Schedule a consultation by filling out the online form or calling 954-764-4330.