Prenuptial Agreements Never Hurt, But Are Strongly Recommended For Any Fiance With Children from a Previous Relationship and/or Premarital Savings or Personal Property or Real Estate

A Scottish-resident Mother of a young Daughter, who has accumulated substantial savings to date and already owns her own home, wonders whether she should have prenuptial agreement prior to her approaching wedding.

Without hesitation, absolutely yes. This Mother is the perfect example of whom a prenuptial or antenuptial agreement is for.

First, Mother has a young child to provide for who is not her future spouse’s child.

What would happen if Mother were to die?

Who would inherit Mother’s savings and other personal property? Her home? Would Daughter have to be uprooted? Rely on other relatives’ financial resources?

Depending upon precisely how it is drafted, a prenup may apply not only to divorce, but also in the event of one spouse’s death.

(Incidentally, that aspect of a prenup may make it more palatable to bring up with your fiance and may render your intended more receptive to it as well.)

And what if the couple does eventually divorce? As a very substantial percentage of married couples do.

Granted, from a pure, rigid, abstract, theoretical view, inheritances and premarital property are considered separate property and will not be divided between spouses in case of divorce.

But then there’s the often muddy, shifting, complex real world that we actually live in.

Where separate property may appreciate during the marriage, be renovated or improved during the marriage, get mixed up or commingled with marital property during the marriage, be spent on the family unit during the marriage, be maintained in part with the other partner’s income and/or assets and/or efforts, etc., etc.

And, when any of these things – or many others – happens, all legal bets are off … without a prenup, and related supporting legal documents.

Of course, Scottish law does not apply to Florida divorces, property, or death, estates and inheritance.

And prenuptial agreements or antenuptial agreements are well-recognized and accepted in Florida and throughout the US.

Read more in this Money help desk: Can I protect assets before wedding?