Prenuptial Agreements – Defining your Marriage Partnership
Congratulations on your engagement or anticipated marriage! Becoming engaged and getting married is a very exciting time in a couple’s life – it is the coming together of two people, in love, embarking upon a new adventure together. For most, this journey will begin with an engagement celebration, a magical wedding, and infatuated lovers enjoying each other without a care in the world. After the “honeymoon stage,” the triumphs and challenges of life will unfold.
The truth is, marriage isn’t only about love. Marriage is the creation of a legal partnership which carries specific obligations and responsibilities to your spouse and children. Knowledge of these obligations and responsibilities is acquired over time – and if this is your first marriage, prepare to learn a lot. If this is not your first marriage, you may have some unpleasant memories of your divorce. But you can take control this time.
Regardless of your past experience, if you want your marriage to succeed, you and your fiancé need to understand the obligations and responsibilities that come with marriage, as well as the costs involved when a marriage does not work out. We all go into marriage hoping for the best, but it is always a good idea to protect your interests and plan for the worst. As you will see, a prenuptial agreement is a powerful and often invaluable marriage planning tool.
What are the Benefits of a Prenuptial Agreement?
A Prenuptial Agreement, Premarital Agreement, or “Prenup” is a legal contract between an expected bride and groom. Like most personal contracts, the terms of a Prenuptial Agreement can be customized and negotiated until both parties are satisfied. The agreement can clarify the husband’s and the wife’s responsibilities and obligations during the marriage, help the parties identify, establish and protect property rights, including real estate, cars, trusts, stock portfolios, and other assets, establish terms for, limit, or eliminate Alimony and other support, and settle any number of other anticipated issues. Prenuptial Agreements are also especially helpful in planning for children from prior marriages.
Planning for death and divorce is a reality for the prudent, but the possible benefits cannot be ignored by the romantic, either. By entering into a Prenuptial Agreement, you may be able to avoid the high cost of litigating a potential divorce, avoid additional emotional damage to your children, avoid fighting over a business you built, or an inheritance you may receive, and keep the details of your business or other interests private.
An experienced Prenuptial Agreement Attorney can help you evaluate your present circumstances, your plans for the future, and the relevant laws, and use that information to craft a custom Prenuptial Agreement designed to protect your rights and effectuate your goals. In general, the Prenup will need to be in writing, entered voluntarily by both parties, include financial disclosures, be executed in conformity with Florida law, and not be unconscionable or otherwise void under the law. Beyond these initial formalities, an experienced Prenuptial Agreement Attorney can counsel you in complying with the terms of the agreement to ensure the integrity of the Prenuptial Agreement is preserved in the future. Prenuptial Agreements are also commonly used to allow the parties to enter into a legal marriage, but create only minimal financials ties and responsibilities. Such ties and responsibilities can be lifted or modified upon an additional religious marriage ceremony or the occurrence of another event, depending on the agreement of the parties.
How to Discuss a Prenuptial Agreement
For more information about discussing a Prenuptial Agreement with your loved one, visit our blog post: How to Discuss a Prenuptial Agreement.
Prenuptial Agreements in Second Marriages
Prenuptial Agreements are especially helpful, and almost always recommended, in the case of second marriages or other re-marriages. Entering a legal partnership is more complex when parties have accumulated certain wealth and debts on their own, and especially when one or more of the spouses has minor children or adult children. An experienced Prenuptial Agreement Attorney can help you plan for children from a prior relationship, prospective children from the new relationship, and step children. A good Prenup Attorney can also ensure that the client’s estate planning goals, as well as marriage contingency goals, are adequately met. Many people are not aware that a spouse, regardless of the length of the marriage, has certain automatic entitlements under the law, many of which are presumed to be in effect unless contracted otherwise. It is wise to consult with an experienced Prenuptial Agreement Attorney when you are thinking about a second marriage or other remarriage.
Challenging Invalid or Fraudulent Prenups
Certain circumstances, such as fraud, duress, or overreaching, can give rise to an invalid, void, or unenforceable Prenuptial Agreement. If you believe you may have entered into an improper Prenuptial Agreement, or if one is being enforced against you, you should contact a Prenuptial Agreement attorney immediately – whether you intend to get divorced or not. An experienced Prenuptial Agreement Attorney can help verify the validity or terms of the agreement, and, if necessary, directly or indirectly challenge the alleged Agreement.
What is a Postnuptial Agreement?
A Postnuptial Agreement is similar to a Prenuptial Agreement, except the Agreement is entered into after the parties are married. Postnuptial Agreements are often helpful in resolving difficult issues between spouses, to keep the situation from snowballing into a separation or divorce proceeding. If you are already married, but would like to settle an ongoing or expected issue that might be causing friction between you and your spouse, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney to determine if a Postnuptial Agreement is right for you.
Learn More About Your Options Today
A Prenuptial Agreement can allow you to start your marriage with the most certainty and give it the best chance of success. Talk to an experienced Prenup Attorney today to learn more about your rights, responsibilities and options.
For a consultation or to schedule an appointment about entering into a Prenuptial Agreement, a Postnuptial Agreement, or assessing the validity of a Prenuptial Agreement, e-mail Info@BrowardLegal.com or call (954) 703-2110 today.