Kristen Houghton’s “Happiness May Be A Prenuptial Agreement”

Author Kristen Houghton brings up some interesting points in her article, Happiness May Be A Prenuptial Agreement (from the Huffington Post):

[A] pre-nup isn’t just for royals or the wealthy, anyway. Though much more common in the case of a second marriage (especially if children from a previous one are involved), a prenuptial agreement is not such a bad idea for a “first” marriage either. And you don’t have to be Donald Trump to request a pre-nup. Many young couples are either toying with the idea or have actually seriously talked about it.

The classic pre-nup is a legal contract which operates by ensuring that if a couple divorces, any possessions each had before marrying would remain their own and not be divided as part of the marital pool. You can make a pre-nup very individual, but traditionally, both sides are entitled to 50 percent of any income earned during the marriage period. If one of the partners earned little or nothing throughout the marriage, they’d be allowed to be given a percentage of their partner’s earnings and possibly part of a future pension.

A prenuptial agreement can set your mind at ease. While this may make marriage seem like a deliberately calculated chess move, it is not as cold as it sounds, and — if both partners are comfortable with this contract — it can actually add to the happiness of the married couple. Practically speaking, there are benefits for both concerned. While you may have to stick with certain legalese, you and your partner can make changes and include whatever makes you happy and secure.

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When should you bring up the subject of a prenuptial agreement? Here’s a hint: Don’t wait until the week before the wedding! Ideally, this topic should be broached when you’re moving into the permanent stages of a relationship. This is the time when you may be talking about marriage as a not-too-distant fact, and many issues involving this situation are being discussed.

***

Choose separate lawyers to work out the contract. Ideally, the lawyer each of you chooses should be someone who puts your best interests first. The lawyers know how to include what each of you wants in language that will make it legally clear.

Don’t ever make this a one sided issue. Openly discuss what you both feel should be included in the document. Make sure to mention what will become of all future assets accumulated as a married couple. As far as the law goes, the best part of having a pre-nup is that you are not depending on the divorce laws of any state to protect you financially. You are deciding that what the two of you want is different from the contract that state law would give you in the case of a divorce. You — not the state — are making the decisions about your life.

Keep in mind that, in Florida, certain issues such as child custody and child support may not be enforced by the court system, even if both parties agree to them in a prenuptial agreement.

Feel free to contact The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or visit us online at www.abcfamilylaw.com if you have questions regarding your prenuptial agreement, postnuptial agreement, or marital settlement agreement.

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About Adam B. Cordover, Attorney-at-Law

Family Diplomacy is dedicated to helping clients restructure their families privately and respectfully. We practice exclusively in out-of-court dispute resolution, with a focus on collaborative divorce and family law, mediation, direct negotiations, and unbundled legal services. We maintain this out-of-court practice because we strongly believe that family disputes should be resolved in a private conference room, not in a hostile and public courtroom environment. This unique perspective on family law stems back to Adam B. Cordover’s experience studying International Affairs in Washington, D.C., and abroad. Adam had the rare opportunity to work closely with ambassadors and diplomats from war-torn regions around the world. He traveled around the globe, learning from diplomatic leaders as they applied dispute resolution techniques to tackle seemingly impossible conflicts. It dawned on him: If these techniques can work in the complex world of International Relations, why not Domestic Relations and Family Law? This realization lead Adam to create an exclusively out-of-court practice and to bring a more peacemaking approach to family law. In his previous role as a litigation attorney, Adam witnessed parties experience the negative emotional and financial effects that long, drawn out divorce battles can have on families. As a result, Adam has become a strong proponent of the Collaborative Process, where a structure is put in place so that life’s hardest moments do not have to be any more difficult than necessary. A thought leader in the international collaborative law community, Adam successfully spearheaded an effort of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit to draft an administrative order safeguarding the principles of collaborative family law (just the fourth such administrative order in Florida). Adam has been featured in or interviewed about collaborative practice by the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Business Journal, Florida Bar News, NBC, Fox 13, Bay News 9, ABC Action News, The World of Collaborative Practice Magazine, and Spirit FM 90.5. Adam regularly speaks at professional and civic organizations locally and internationally regarding the collaborative process. Adam B. Cordover is president of Next Generation Divorce, a 501(c)(3) and Florida’s largest interdisciplinary collaborative practice group with member attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties. Adam is also on the Executive Board and co-chair of the Research Committee of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida. Further, Adam is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Leadership Academy of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. You can learn more about us and our services at www.FamilyDiplomacy.com. Attorney Adam B. Cordover is admitted to the Florida Bar and the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida. His office is located at 412 East Madison Street, Suite 824, Tampa, Florida 33602.
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