Equitable Distribution & Other Reasons to Get a Prenup in Florida
If you live in Florida and are married or considering getting married, the concept of equitable distribution is an important one to understand. It refers to the division of marital property in divorce, whereby family court judges distribute property in an equitable (not to be confused with “equal”) fashion. According to Florida state law, this means that while the court ideally seeks to distribute things equally, it can also take a number of factors into account in justifying unequal distribution, including the contribution to the marriage by each spouse (including raising children and serving as homemaker, the economic circumstances of the parties, the duration of the marriage, etc.).
This is why contemplating a prenuptial (“prenup”) agreement—even if you assume that you are not “wealthy” enough for one—in an effort to keep things as equal as possible and keep these factors out of the process—is important, as we discuss below.
They’re about More Than Large Trusts & Real Estate
Today, more and more people are seeking a prenup because they have something they want to protect; even if it isn’t a large trust or real estate holding. A prenup can help ensure that the legal landscape is the same as before you got married; meaning that, as long as you keep things legal, you can essentially pick and choose what factors will guide your circumstances in the event of divorce.
Other reasons you may want to seek out a prenup include the following:
- You and your spouse decided to tackle one of your student loan payments together—with marital funds—and now the spouse who helped out financially with these payments wants to be reimbursed;
- You two have to make arrangements concerning who is taking care of the family pet(s): Keep in mind that it can be difficult to get the courts to exercise oversight over pet custody agreements;
- You froze your eggs or sperm: if this is the case, it needs to be addressed in the form of an agreement in order to prevent a potential disaster later on, such as one partner possibly using the other partner’s material or a clinic refusing to release eggs or sperm without both partners’ signatures. The prenup can address this issue by including a clause that says the reproductive material is returned to the original owner in the event of divorce (and can of course also include financial reimbursement provisions as well if who-paid-for-what is of concern). However, keep in mind that embryo disposition agreements tend to be different documents;
- You don’t want to risk having to sell and divide up your business; and/or
- You are concerned about your earning potential changing.
Contact Our Experienced Family Law Attorneys in Fort Lauderdale or Fort Lauderdale, Florida
When it comes to marriage and divorce, you want to make sure that your rights are protected in all areas of property division. Contact the Florida divorce and equitable distribution attorneys of Trackman & Ballot-Lena, PA today to find out how our attorneys can help ensure you are on the right track.