Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements

Reasons to Consider a Pre- or Postnuptial Agreement

Floridians that are preparing for marriage are typically very focused on wedding plans and dreams for a future together. The thought of a potential divorce is not commonly at the top of one’s mind during this process and, as a result, creating a prenuptial agreement may never even be thought of.

However, such marital contracts can be very beneficial and are no longer considered only for those people who are very rich; modern society has introduced many situations that make the option of such an agreement beneficial for most couples.

When Could a Prenuptial Agreement Be Wise?

Despite the wish for any engaged couple to believe their union will be lifelong, there is always some potential for a divorce. In addition, a prenuptial agreement can be utilized in other ways as well, helping to protect assets for family members. The following are some circumstances in which a prenup may be what you need:

  • Interest in a business: If you have partial interest in a business with one or more other parties, protecting your portion against potential involvement in a divorce settlement can be a means of protecting your business partners and the business overall.
  • Post-retirement marriage: It is not uncommon for people near or even after retirement age to get married, either for a first time or as a remarriage. Either way, the level of assets that either party has amassed is likely greater than for a young couple, and there may also be adult children or grandchildren for whom certain assets would be intended when a particular spouse dies.
  • Remarriage when minor children are involved: If you are marrying when you or your future spouse has children still at home, it may be important to separate specific assets in order to ensure that any financial responsibility to the children is taken care of.

A prenuptial agreement can be a way to proactively identify some marital and separate property. It can also be a good adjunct to overall estate planning.

Postnuptial Agreements Can Help At-Home Parents

When one working spouse decides to stay home with children and put a career on hold for a number of years, he or she may well face a dramatic drop in potential income when a career is pursued again. It can be important for the spouse who will be the stay-at-home parent to protect against a big drop in both income and lifestyle should a divorce take place.

Entering into a postnuptial agreement should be considered when making the decision to have one partner leave a job. Such a contract can outline income distributions and intentions that will help to prevent against potentially devastating situations.

Get Input From a Professional

The above are just some scenarios in which a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may be wise. Couples are encouraged to discuss their situations with a lawyer to learn more about how these contracts may benefit them.

How Property Is Divided in Florida Divorces

For many people, especially those with grown children or no children at all, the most important issues in their divorce will concern property division. Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that the primary legal objective is to achieve a fair division of marital assets and liabilities as opposed to a strictly equal one. At the same time, getting an accurate idea of what an even split would look like is usually a good starting point for the property settlement process.

You can benefit from our experience with the characterization, valuation and distribution of marital property in a divorce of any degree of complexity. Whether you need to achieve the fair division of a multimillion-dollar marital estate or divide the assets and liabilities of a financially stressed middle-class household, the objectives and techniques are basically the same: to obtain your financial security to the greatest extent possible on the basis of correct valuations.