Fort Lauderdale Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreement Lawyer
Prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements are legal contracts that guide financial matters in the event of a divorce or serve as an estate planning tool at the time of one spouse’s death. While prenups (and by extension) postnups have gotten a bad rap in the media, the bad press is misguided. If you’re preparing to marry or have financial concerns about your marriage and think that a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement might be a good idea, don’t put off discussing your concerns with a dedicated prenuptial agreement attorney. Far from being a blight on your marriage, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can provide you with the considerable peace of mind that comes from taking care of your financial responsibilities and could help you bolster your relationship and marriage.
Primary Reasons for Entering into a Prenup
Every prenuptial agreement is unique to the couple and the circumstances involved, but there are several primary reasons that encourage more and more couples to consider and ultimately choose to have a prenup.
Most couples who are entering into marriage have seen the ugly effects of divorce. Sometimes, this means the divorce of their own parents or of another close relative, of their friends, or even of the unlucky couples whose divorces have been splashed across the news, and they would prefer to steer clear of this kind of drama in the event their own marriages end in divorce. Once divorce-related financial matters are determined, it can take a good deal of the heat out of a divorce. Addressing the matter head-on from the outset allows couples to focus on building stronger marriages (rather than worrying about what if).
More and more, even young couples can have immense debt – typically from the student loans that were an investment in their careers, to begin with. Upon marriage, this debt becomes marital. When there is a considerable financial imbalance like this, many couples choose to address the issue with a prenuptial agreement. A prenup helps to ensure that the other spouse won’t walk away from the marriage – if it does end in divorce – with significant debt and nothing to show for it.
A prenuptial agreement ensures that both spouses come clean about their finances prior to marriage, which is an important component of a legally binding premarital agreement. Since finances are often the impetus for divorce, getting this out in the open prior to marriage can serve to strengthen the relationship.
Protecting Separate Assets
When a couple’s assets are lopsided, a premarital agreement is often used to help restore balance. If one spouse, for instance, has a business, is part of a family business, or has amassed considerable wealth generally, marriage can swiftly blur the lines between separate and marital property. A prenup, however, can help clarify the matter from the start.
Protecting an Inheritance
If one (or both) spouses have a child or children from a prior marriage, the matter of the children’s inheritances can be a concern upon remarriage. A prenuptial agreement – working as an estate planning device – allows parents to ensure that their children will inherit as planned upon their death (rather than in accordance with Florida laws at the time). Inheritance laws are complicated, and the prenup must be in compliance in order to be enforceable, which makes working with an experienced premarital agreement lawyer important.
What Prenups Tend to Address
Some of the basic financial concerns that prenups tend to address include:
- Each spouse’s power to control specific properties during the marriage
- How assets will be divided in the event of divorce or death
- How the issue of alimony will be resolved in the event of divorce
- How retirement accounts and/or life insurance policies will be dealt with in the event of divorce
How a Prenup Differs from a Postnup
Postnuptial agreements can have all the benefits of prenuptial agreements, but there is one important distinction. A premarital agreement is created and signed prior to marriage, but it goes into effect only upon marriage. Postnups, on the other hand, are created, signed, and executed while couples are married.
When Prenuptial/Postnuptial Agreements Are Unenforceable
Prenups and postnups aren’t the free passes that many people believe they are. In fact, they are carefully regulated by the law. Any one of the following can render either a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement unenforceable:
- The agreement was not fair in the eyes of the law, to begin with, and the spouse who is challenging it wasn’t provided with a fair disclosure of the other’s financials, didn’t waive the right (in writing) to receive a fair disclosure, or didn’t have (or couldn’t reasonably have had)full knowledge of the other’s financials.
- One spouse did not voluntarily sign the agreement.
- One spouse signed the agreement as a result of fraud, coercion, or duress.
If you have concerns about the validity of a prenup or postnup, reach out to a seasoned prenup and postnup attorney today.
Matters that Your Prenup or Postnup Can’t Address
There are certain matters that, if addressed in your premarital agreement, can render all or part of it void. Your child custody arrangements upon divorce are a prime example. The court bases every decision that relates to children on the best interests of those children at that time the decision is made, and as a result, such matters cannot be resolved prior to the fact, such as in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. The same goes for child support, which cannot be included in your agreement unless the terms exceed the amounts required by Florida’s calculation guidelines.
It’s Time to Consult with an Experienced Fort Lauderdale Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreement Lawyer
Chantale Suttle at JustPrenups.com in Fort Lauderdale is a compassionate prenuptial and postnuptial agreement attorney who recognizes that, when these agreements are well considered and well constructed, they can help strengthen marriages. We’re here to help you explore your best options as they apply to premarital agreements, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 800-959-1614 today.