Florida Nuptial Agreements
At the law office of Gregory H. Zogran, I help individuals and families with all aspects of asset protection and planning. In previous years, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements were sometimes disparaged as unromantic or coldhearted. Some people viewed the idea of signing a contract “just in case” the relationship failed as negative and businesslike. In reality, however, marital agreements can save both sides a tremendous amount of grief, emotional pain, and frustration down the road. No one walks down the aisle thinking their union will end in divorce, but you can only control your own actions – your spouse is another matter entirely. People and circumstances change. A detailed, well-planned agreement can be cost-effective and easier on your emotions and your wallet.
When divorcing couples cannot compromise, the courts must decide the outstanding issues in their case – a solution that often results in both sides walking away unhappy. Nuptial agreements allow married couples to decide how they will divide property, share custody, and handle spousal support in the event their relationship dissolves. By deciding these important issues while both parties have cool heads, couples are much more likely to divide their assets and determine custody arrangements that serve the best interests of everyone involved.
According to Florida’s Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, courts will uphold prenuptial and postnuptial agreements as long as they comply with statutory requirements. To be enforceable, a nuptial agreement must be in writing. Additionally, each spouse must fully understand the entirety of the agreement. Because these agreements are often challenged on grounds that one party was either unrepresented by counsel or coerced into signing, it is important to work with a skilled nuptial agreement attorney to create a document that complies with state law.
Sometimes called an ante-nuptial agreement or “prenup”, a prenuptial agreement is essentially a contract between two people who intend to get married. In many cases, they are used to avoid future conflict when one spouse comes into the marriage with significantly more assets than the other person. They are also useful when one or both parties are entering a second marriage. Prenuptial agreements have many benefits, including reduced litigation costs and a smoother transition from married to separate lives. More importantly, they also help couples separate amicably, which can reduce stress on minor children.
Postnuptial agreements serve the same purpose as their prenuptial counterparts with the sole exception of being entered into after a couple is already married. If you and your spouse simply want to set forth your wishes regarding distribution of your assets and support issues in the event you divorce, you can avoid conflict and expense by creating a comprehensive postnuptial agreement. Under Florida law, postnuptial agreements must satisfy the same requirements as prenuptial contracts.
Providing Smart Solutions
Your family is important to you. If you want to protect your way of life and sidestep the emotional trauma of divorce, it is important to plan ahead. To find out more about Florida prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, contact my office at 772-220-9699.