Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements
It is easy to overlook the fact that though marriage is based on a romantic relationship, it is also an economic partnership, and many rights and duties arise between the couple by operation of law. In the event that you and your spouse decide to end the relationship in the future, you will have to sort out matters such as alimony and division of property and debts. You may not be in a generous or cooperative frame of mind at that point. By taking the time now to settle those issues in advance, you can protect yourself against the possibility of a drawn out legal battle.
When a couple makes a decision to “spend the rest of their lives together,” it is often difficult to broach the subject of a prenuptial agreement. After all, who wants to infuse the possibility of failure into a marriage that is about to begin? A frank discussion prior to the marriage may actually work in promoting a successful marriage by opening up communication between the couple, and helping each party understand the obligations and expectations the other partner has in the marriage. There are many well founded specific reasons for parties to enter into a prenuptial agreement. Although this list is not exhaustive, these reasons include:
- • To protect one party from responsibility for the other party’s premarital debts.
- • To retain the full value, including any increase in value, of one party’s business that was established prior to the marriage
- • When either or both parties have children from a prior marriage, to ensure that each party’s estate planning to pass assets to his/her children is not affected by the remarriage under Florida law.
- • To enter into an agreement where certain legal rights may be waived with full knowledge, prior to the marriage. For example, the rights of a second spouse to receive 401K or pension benefits accrued prior to the marriage.
Our firm focuses on listening to what you want to achieve in a prenuptial agreement, and then works with you to help develop those goals into a legally enforceable, yet fair agreement. Of course, your intended spouse must agree with the terms and conditions of the prenuptial agreement after receiving full disclosure of all assets and liabilities. Therefore, he/she must also seek independent legal counsel to avert any potential issues of undue influence or misunderstanding in entering into the agreement.
The Law Office of Cindy S. Vova, P.A. strives to make the prenuptial agreement process a positive experience, where both parties become closer as a result of the communication needed to complete the process. As experienced Family Law Attorneys, with an understanding of not only family law, but estate planning and tax law as well, we can help you navigate through all of the issues involved in drafting a meaningful prenuptial agreement. Hopefully, we get invited to the 50th Anniversary Party where you use the document for confetti!
Postnuptual Agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements, with one glaring difference….the postnuptial agreement is entered into after the marriage. Although one may decide to end an engagement if the other party will not sign a prenuptial agreement, there is usually less incentive to enter into a postnuptial agreement since, after all, the marriage already occurred, and each party already has the legal rights and obligations established upon marriage under Florida law. Still, there are countless reasons why both parties may desire to enter into a postnuptial agreement. Our firm is here to help you through the entire process.