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What is important for a good prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement can be a valuable document for any couple to draw up before getting married. It addresses what will happen to assets and other property in divorce or death. All marriages end one way or the other.

However, if a prenup is not properly drawn up or has other issues, it may not be worth the paper it's printed on. If it's challenged in court, a judge could choose to invalidate all or part of it.

No two prenups are the same, because every couple enters marriage with different concerns. Some have or will be receiving a large inheritance. Others have children from a previous relationship to protect financially. However, there are certain things that are required or at least strongly recommended for all prenups to help ensure that they will hold up in court.

It's essential that both parties enter into the agreement willingly and knowledgeably. It's also wise for both to have their own attorney involved in order to ensure that their interests are protected. Both people should fully understand what they're agreeing to and have ample time to consider it. A prenup put in front of someone the day of the wedding by his or her future spouse and in-laws likely isn't going to hold up if challenged.

Prenups usually detail what assets and debts each person is bringing into the marriage so that they are differentiated from marital property acquired by the couple together. Both parties must fully and honestly disclose their financial information with a complete list of assets and liabilities.

Couples can stipulate how any inheritances they receive from family or others will be treated -- as separate or marital property. They can also address who keeps any gifts exchanged during the marriage -- the giver or receiver. This can add up to a considerable amount over a long marriage.

As you talk with your Florida family law attorney, he or she may recommend that you include clauses to address other matters individual to you and your partner.

Source: hometownlife.com, "Key issues every prenup should cover," Henry Gornbein, Jan. 14, 2018

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