Prenuptial Agreements, also called “Premarital Agreements” (signed prior to the marriage) and Postnuptial Agreement (signed after the marriage) in Florida, are contracts between prospective spouses that determine how certain issues such as alimony and property division are treated during a divorce.
There are many reasons to enter into a Prenuptial/Postnuptial Agreement. No longer just an instrument for the wealthy, to protect their assets from a divorce, more and more couples are using these agreements to bring certainty and predictability to their financial futures.
Reasons to get a Prenuptial/Postnuptial Agreement include, but are not limited, to:
- Owning assets prior to the marriage and wanting to protect those assets from division during a divorce,
- Addressing the division of assets and liabilities in the event of divorce,
- Having children from a previous relationship and wanting to protect their future inheritance,
- Having business interests and intending to keep those interests separate from their spouse if the marriage fails, or
- Wanting to address and delineate whether one spouse will pay the other alimony in the event of divorce.
Prenuptial Agreements/Postnuptial Agreements cannot address child support and/or timesharing issues in Florida. Courts must calculate child support at the time of parents’ separation or divorce based on their current incomes. Also, the right to child support belongs to the child, and parents can’t bargain away their obligation to pay it. Similarly, Judges determine parental responsibility and an appropriate timesharing plan on the child’s best interests at the time of separation or divorce.
Florida adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA) to determine the enforceability of prenuptial agreements. Click this link to Florida Statute 61.079 (UPAA)
The UPAA lays out several rules to help courts determine whether a Prenuptial Agreement is enforceable.
Each Prenuptial Agreement must be in writing and signed by both spouses to be enforceable. Since the agreement is a trade of marriage for the terms in the contract, the agreement takes effect when the couple marries.
The enforceability of a Prenuptial Agreement may be an issue if a spouse can prove that:
- He or she did not sign the agreement voluntarily
- The agreement was signed because of fraud, duress, or coercion, or
- The agreement was unconscionable when signed, and the spouse challenging the agreement:
- Was not given a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party,
- Did not voluntarily and expressly waive, in writing, any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided, and
- Did not have or reasonably could not have had, an adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party.
Call the Law Office of William N. Lazarchick, Jr., P.A. to schedule an appointment to discuss the preparation and negotiation of either a Prenuptial Agreement or Postnuptial Agreement based upon the unique facts of your case.