As modern day issues continue to complicate the marriage and divorce process in the U.S., Gibraltar Private Bank has outlined four basic recommendations that will help people better understand the value of prenuptial agreements and discuss their appropriateness with their significant other.
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - August 3, 2011 -- As modern day issues continue to complicate the marriage and divorce process in the U.S., Gibraltar Private Bank (http://www.gibraltarprivate.com) has outlined four basic recommendations that will help people better understand the value of prenuptial agreements and discuss their appropriateness with their significant other.
In today’s world, saying “I do” is not as simplistic as it used to be. Multiple marriages, same-sex marriages, children from prior relationships, and even death have brought further complications to the questions that surround estate division. These issues have raised perplexing questions within the legal and financial planning community.
To address these concerns, a prenuptial agreement is a helpful tool as the process benefits couples by helping them define their expectations for the marriage, establish a responsible approach to estate planning, and learn more about each other’s attitudes toward money. Disagreements about these issues after marriage can be a leading factor in divorce.
To help your agreement (and relationship) stand the test of time, consider these general recommendations:
1. Plan ahead. Prenuptial agreements reached just before the wedding can later be considered as coercive or signed under duress and, thus, unenforceable. Bring up the topic as soon as you can, before things get too serious - a minimum of 12 months before marriage.
2. Disclose your assets and liabilities. While the state of Florida doesn't require you to disclose assets before marrying, divorce courts may not enforce premarital agreements that lack full financial disclosure. You can help reduce this risk by attaching a schedule of assets and liabilities to the agreement. Couples should include income and expenses, because the more transparency the better. Make an annual exercise of reviewing your financial picture.
3. Seek independent counsel. Key factors surrounding the enforceability of a prenuptial agreement are whether it was A) “fair and reasonable” at the time it was executed, and B) entered into voluntarily. Having separate legal representation during the drafting of the agreement will help support these considerations.
4. Decide on a jurisdiction. This factor is critical in international marriages or when you have assets in different locales, because laws vary among not only countries, but also U.S. states. A properly drafted prenuptial agreement will include the choice of law to be applied so as to avoid rendering the contract null and void.
About Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust
Established in 1994, Gibraltar Private (http://www.gibraltarprivate.com) is an integrated private banking and wealth management company dedicated to enhancing the wealth and well-being of its clients and their families. Gibraltar Bank offers residential and commercial lending, private banking and wealth management services to professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, affluent retirees, and select businesses.
Gibraltar Private has eight full-service banking offices with its headquarters in Coral Gables, offices in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Miami Beach, South Miami, Naples, Ocean Reef and New York, and a loan production office in Aspen, Colorado.
Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust
220 Alhambra Circle, 5th Floor
Coral Gables, Florida 33134