Seminole Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreement Attorney
Getting engaged and getting married are happy times, but those happy feelings can also naturally be mixed with feelings of stress or worry. You are about to tie your life to another and mix together your financial assets and financial responsibilities. Perhaps you’ll end up forgoing education or a career for the sake of the marriage. What happens if things don’t work out? If either of you has been married and divorced before, these feelings can be even more momentous and sharply felt.
One solution is to create a prenuptial agreement that sets out your expectations for what will happen if the marriage ends in divorce. Couples who skipped a prenuptial agreement before getting married can still accomplish the same goals through a postnuptial agreement as well. Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff can help with that. Our experienced Florida family law attorneys can ably advise you and represent you in coming up with a premarital or postmarital agreement that meets your needs and calms your concerns. Our seasoned litigation team is also here for you if an agreement is being challenged amid a Florida divorce. Learn more about these documents below, and contact our experienced Seminole prenuptial and postnuptial agreement attorney to discuss your concerns and find out how we can help.
Reasons to Get a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement
Not every couple decides to get a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, but these documents can benefit just about everyone. They are not just for the rich and famous, although an income or power disparity between the parties is one of the most common reasons behind a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Here are some of the main reasons you might want to consider one:
- You’ll go into the marriage with your “eyes open” about your partner’s financial assets and debts
- You can make sure you will be protected if the marriage falls apart
- You can make sure you won’t be taken advantage of in a divorce
- You can decide whether alimony will be paid in case of divorce
- You can protect your separate property in the event of a divorce
- You can dictate the making of a will and what terms to include
- You can require the taking out of a life insurance policy and designate the beneficiaries
- You can protect the inheritance of your children from a previous marriage
- You can protect your business in case of divorce
- You’ll gain peace of mind from sharing your expectations with each other
What Makes a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement Valid
Prenuptial agreements in Florida are governed by the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, which sets out the requirements to make a valid prenup. Under this law, a prenuptial agreement is a binding contract that becomes effective when the parties get married. Certain features must be present to make the agreement binding:
- The agreement must be in writing
- Both parties must sign the document
- The agreement cannot dictate future child support or child custody
If the parties are creating a postnuptial agreement after they are already married, they will have to exchange something of value to make the agreement effective. Giving up a legal right, such as waiving alimony or agreeing to pay alimony, would suffice. This isn’t required to make a prenuptial agreement effective, since the marriage itself acts as the “consideration” required to make a binding contract under Florida law.
Family Law Litigation: Enforcing or Challenging Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement might be years or decades old by the time it is needed to be put in force. If that time comes and one of the parties is no longer satisfied with the terms of the agreement, they might try to challenge it in court. As noted earlier, these are binding contracts that can be enforced in court. If you are challenging the validity of an agreement, or if your future ex is challenging it and you need to defend it, you can benefit from the seasoned litigation team at Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff. Our former prosecutors provide zealous and effective advocacy on your behalf whenever litigation arises in your divorce. The grounds for challenging a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can include:
- The required legal formalities were not followed (document in writing, signed by both parties).
- The agreement was unconscionable when created (too one-sided or unfair when it was written).
- The party defending the agreement did not fairly and reasonably disclose their assets and debts to the other party when the agreement was made. This applies so long as the party challenging the agreement didn’t waive their right to have the other party disclose their assets and debts to them, and that party didn’t otherwise already have a sufficient picture of the other party’s finances.
Contact Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff Today
If your agreement is prepared by an experienced family law attorney and each of you gets the document reviewed by your own seasoned lawyer before you sign it, you’ll be in good shape to have the agreement you want that can be enforced if it is ever needed. For help with drafting, reviewing or litigating prenuptial or postnuptial agreements in Pinellas County, contact our experienced Seminole prenuptial and postnuptial agreement attorney today.