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What can happen if I don't have a prenup?

Understanding what a prenup can do for you is important to deciding whether this option is a good choice for your situation. However, it is equally important to understand what may happen in your divorce if you do not have a prenup or the court sets it aside during the divorce process.

If you did not a sign a prenup before you got married, all property acquired during the marriage is likely to be deemed marital property by the Florida courts. This is true whether the asset is in one or both of your names. If you buy a house in your name only during the marriage, that does not necessarily mean that it will be considered separate property. Only property owned prior to the marriage and brought into the relationship will be considered separate property that you get to take with you when you divorce.

You will also likely have to take a share of the marital debts. Again, this is irrespective of whose name the debts are in. This may not necessarily be a 50/50 division — and there is often room for negotiation during the divorce process — but it is likely that both you and your spouse will come out of the marriage with some of the debt.

In short, without a prenup, the courts will default to the state guidelines, and it will be up to you and your attorney to show that there should be a deviation in your favor. Prenups are valuable tools, and it's a good idea for all couples considering marriage to meet with an attorney about the possibility of drawing up a prenuptial agreement.

Source: FindLaw, "Can Prenuptial Agreements Help You?," accessed July 21, 2015

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