What You Come Into The Marriage With You Leave With

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Generally speaking, what you come into the marriage with you leave the marriage with even if it is years later…UNLESS you have “commingled” your assets to make them marital.

What this means is if you had a home prior to the marriage and sold that house and used the net proceeds to purchase a new home during the marriage, you would get your initial downpayment back in divorce court, before any remaining net assets are divided between the parties.  Or another example,  if you owned a BMW prior to the marriage, and then during the marriage traded it in for a newer model, and a divorce is imminent, you would be able to leave the marriage with your newer car.

In thinking about divorce, it is best to try to pay off all the marital debt with marital assets prior to filing for divorce.  It is also a good idea prior to the wedding to take stock of what you are bringing into the marriage and how you can keep your pre marital assets outside of the marital estate.   One really great vehicle to accomplish this is the prenuptial agreement which requires financial disclosure.

For more information about this or other divorce topics, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at www.familylawwpb.com.

Why Prenuptial Agreements Are Expensive And Worth It

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Congratulations! You are getting married.  If you are over the age of 30 you probably have your own assets and debts.  To assure  that your hard earned assets are not lost in a quickie marriage, the first rule of thumb is to keep your assets entirely separate.  That means, don’t use any of it for marital purpose, don’t put your hard earned cash into joint bank accounts, and don’t commingle your funds in any way for joint purchases.   Or if you do, you need to realize that investment is joint and marital.  It will be at issue if you divorce later.  Fully disclose in your prenuptial agreement what  you are going into the marriage with.  That way if you leave the marriage, your assets go with you, unless otherwise intended.

As far as debts are concerned, you need to know what your bride or groom’s credit score is.  You need to be released or held harmless from this beloved’s premarital debts.  In that way, your assets are protected and you are not responsible for your spouse’s debts.

Because premarital agreements deal with the potential for divorce, it is important to realize how extensive the protections can be.  A bride or groom who is waiving marital rights, needs to know what they  waiving in order for that waiver to be valid and enforceable down the road.

Anti-nuptial agreements also deal with death of a spouse and protection for the surviving spouse.  However, it is important to remember, a prenup is NOT a testamentary document.  It does not replace a will or trust document.  Sometimes I engage the expertise of  an estate planning lawyer to assist me with the drafting of death provisions of a prenup.

Also, there are tax implications of any property distribution scheme, or division of assets, so a tax advisor is recommended to work us as well.

In addition to the experts that may be required in the drafting of your prenuptial agreement, we also use videographers to record the actual execution of the document.   The importance of this is to assure that the parties are entering into the contract free of duress, over reaching, fraud or misunderstanding or even sometimes a language barrier.   Any breach here, and your prenuptial agreement can voidable even years later.

If done properly, prenuptial agreements are generally upheld when challenged in court.   Budget  about $10,000 or more, depending upon the complexity of your estate.  This is your future that is at stake, so remember, you get what you pay for.  Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish by hiring an attorney who will cut corners to keep the price down.  That is definitely not in your best interests.