The Financial Risks of Marriage in Florida

September 24, 2017

If you are considering getting married in Florida, you should realize the consequences of the contract you are about to enter into and how it can affect your life.  Are you willing to give up half of your retirement and/or pay your spouse a monthly payment for the rest of their lives?  Both of these situations are possible in divorce.  However, while one spouse earning half of the others’ retirement is common, alimony for life is rare.  Still, alimony for a period is very common as well.  Marriage is built on love but comes with risks and legal ramifications.  

Know that you share all of the money that each partner makes.  Either spouse can spend all of the money that both spouses make (exceptions apply).  Know that you will split all of your property acquired during the marriage (exceptions apply).  When you purchase property that is not real estate during the marriage, it becomes shared by the couple.  

Many of our clients are shocked upon divorce.  Their former partner often becomes one of their most hated people, yet, they are forced to pay them a large lump sum or monthly payments.  Imagine having to pay your enemy a check every month from your hard earned money.  Imagine splitting things that you purchased with this person.  Many people in divorce want to punish their partner by relinquishing any support provided  but that power is taken away by the court and often a partner can get a large lump sum, in addition to monthly support payments after divorce.  

There are a several ways to protect yourself.  One, don’t get married.  Two, have a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage.  A prenup only protects your assets when your spouse can afford to pay for themselves.  Three, get a postnuptial agreement if you are married.  Four, avoid marrying a person that doesn’t work, because, if you are the breadwinner, you are likely to pay a lot more.  Lastly, marry someone that makes more than you, the more the better.

Some people incur great financial gain during marriage while others incur great financial loss.  If you saw the hurt that people experience when suffering a loss, it can be life changing.  Therefore, protect your time, your work, your assets, and your sanity by making smart decisions when you choose a partner and decide to get married.

Although this article was writing by an attorney, none of the information is intended to be given as legal advice.  Please seek the advice of an attorney to assess your personal situation.