Today, prenuptial agreements have many more purposes than simply protecting a wealthy party entering a marriage. Their utility is no longer limited to only protecting wealth upon divorce. Recently, ex-NFL star Chad Johnson’s divorce was finalized. The divorce proceeding was reportedly governed by a prenuptial agreement. Johnson had recently been in a Broward County courtroom facing misdemeanor battery charges against his former wife. Following the alleged battery, she filed for divorce. The couple married on July 4 of this year.
Prenuptial agreements, sometimes called premarital agreements, establish the financial and property rights of the parties in the event of divorce. Although prenuptial agreements are often entered into to protect the assets of a wealthy spouse, they can also be used to protect one party from assuming the debts of the other, determine how property will be passed upon death, clarify financial rights and responsibilities during the marriage and avoid long and costly disputes in the case of a divorce.
Prenuptial agreements must be in writing to be valid. Such an agreement must be reviewed and considered by both parties prior to signing, and reasonable time must be given for review. Some states require each party to have their own attorney for review. Prenuptial agreements also may not contain invalid provisions, such as agreements regarding child support obligations in the event of divorce. The agreement must be based on accurate and complete disclosure of the financial situations of both parties.
Provided a prenuptial agreement is valid, it may have utility beyond its historic value to protect a wealthy spouse in the case of a high asset divorce. Any of our Florida readers who are considering a marriage may be interested in getting the most accurate and up-to-date information concerning prenuptial agreements.
Source: ABCNews , “Ex-NFL star Chad Johnson, Evelyn Lozada divorced,” Sept. 19, 2012