Prenuptial agreements are legally enforceable contracts between prospective spouses. These contracts address property, assets, and debts in the event of divorce or death. It is a document meant to mitigate disputes while protecting the rights of both parties. It establishes a financial roadmap for a couple following a marriage or re-marriage. Some may feel a prenuptial agreement indicates a lack of trust going into a marriage. However, it can be a positive experience to have an open and honest discussion with your future spouse about financial expectations and shared finances. Planning can reduce stress and create a strong foundation for your relationship.
Florida adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act on October 1, 2007. Prenuptial agreements are governed by Florida state statute 61.079. A premarital agreement is a written document signed by both parties before marriage. It takes effect upon the marriage of the parties. Both persons must have independent legal counsel. The terms of the agreement cannot violate the state’s criminal laws. It is recommended to execute a premarital agreement well before the marriage to prevent duress or coercion allegations. Both parties are expected to provide full financial disclosure of their assets and debts when creating a premarital agreement, or it can be deemed invalid.
At Peppler Law P.A., we can customize a prenuptial agreement to reflect each couple’s unique goals. The couple can claim their rights or waive their rights to assets and debts incurred before and during a marriage. Examples are life insurance policies, retirement accounts, spousal support, property and assets, family heirlooms, and inheritances. It is a valuable tool for business owners, providing clarity and fairness to spouses for property division.
A prenuptial agreement cannot include child support, visitation, or child custody issues, as these decisions are determined according to state guidelines. Couples can waive spousal support in a prenuptial agreement. However, that is at the discretion of the court to not impoverish one party to file for public assistance.
It is increasingly common to enter into marriage with a premarital agreement. Today, couples are getting married at a later age after they have accumulated considerable assets and debts. Many have experienced the divorce of their parents. Subsequently, they are keenly aware and understand the need to protect their interests. Second and third marriages are likely to have children from a former marriage. These couples may wish to pass their estate on to their children from a prior relationship, having their new spouse waive rights to their assets.
At Peppler Law P.A., we can protect you from an uncertain future and avoid costly disputes in the event of a divorce. With decades of family law experience, we will assess your situation and help you make informed decisions with a customized prenuptial agreement.