In recent years, prenuptial agreements have become more popular among couples planning weddings in Florida and throughout the country. A prenuptial agreement allows a couple to determine who owns an asset prior to getting married and after a marriage ends. For example, a person who owned a business prior to a union becoming official may want to stipulate that the company remains his or her own property after getting married.

In many cases, any appreciation in the price of a company that takes place after a wedding occurs is considered a marital asset. However, the prenuptial agreement may be able to specify how much of that appreciation a spouse is entitled to. It can also specify what happens if the company depreciates in value for any reason. Generally, a couple would stipulate on their own how much the business was worth at the time of the marriage.

This type of pact may answer the question of what happens in the event that the spouse who owns the business doesn’t take a salary. It’s not uncommon for business owners to reinvest profits back into their companies to help them grow faster. By doing so, that person reduces his or her income for child support or alimony payment purposes. Therefore, it may be necessary to impute a salary as part of a prenuptial agreement.

Generally speaking, businesses may be divided as part of a final divorce settlement. Business owners may want to consult with an attorney prior to beginning the divorce process to learn more about what their rights or obligations may be. If a prenuptial agreement exists, its terms would likely determine how company assets would be allocated. An attorney may review such an agreement to see if it’s still valid.