Boca Raton Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements Attorney
A prenuptial or premarital agreement is a contract made between two persons who are contemplating marriage, and which becomes effective upon marriage. The subjects of prenuptial agreements are broad, but typically they address payment of spousal support and the division of property in case of divorce. There are numerous reasons why it is a good idea to have a prenuptial agreement, but it is crucial to have the agreement prepared or reviewed by an attorney before signing. If the prenuptial agreement ever needs to be enforced, one party may challenge the validity of the agreement if it was not prepared properly. The Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg, P.A. helps clients in Boca Raton and South Florida create prenuptial agreements that are valid, enforceable and reflect their needs and interests in the event of a later divorce. Contact our experienced Boca Raton prenuptial & postnuptial agreement attorney today.
Why Have a Prenuptial Agreement
Nobody goes into a marriage expecting to get a divorce, so asking for a prenuptial agreement, which sounds like you are planning for divorce, can seem distasteful. However, the fact is that many marriages do in fact end in divorce. Having a prenuptial agreement in place can actually ease anxiety and uncertainty, and help couples enter into marriage feeling more secure with each other. For instance, arguments over money are a leading cause of divorce, but a prenuptial agreement allows the couple to enter the marriage with their eyes wide open about the assets, debts and finances each spouse is bringing into the marriage.
A prenuptial agreement can benefit any couple, but it is most often seen where there is a large disparity in wealth or earning power between the spouses. A prenuptial agreement can help the lower-earning spouse know that he or she will be taken care in the event of a divorce, and the higher-earning spouse knows he or she will not be taken advantage of in a divorce. Prenuptial agreements are also popular with people who have been married and divorced in the past, and do not wish to repeat the experience of a costly, emotional court battle. When a prenuptial agreement is in place, any divorce that does occur will likely be less expensive, faster, and less emotionally-charged than if there were no premarital agreement. Prenuptial agreements can also protect the rights of children from a previous marriage.
Requirements for a Valid Prenuptial Agreement in Florida
There are many legal requirements that must be met in order to create a valid prenuptial agreement that is enforceable in court. First of all, the agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties. Also, the topics dealt with in the agreement must be valid topics for a prenuptial agreement. For instance, a prenuptial agreement may deal with issues of spousal support and the division of marital and separate property; it may speak to the making of a will or the right of a spouse to choose an elective share of the estate; it may require an insurance policy with certain terms; etc. A prenuptial agreement may not, however, dictate the terms of child custody or child support in the event of a divorce.
Another important aspect of the prenuptial agreement is that it must be entered into voluntarily. If one party can prove that he or she was forced or pressured into signing, then the court may not enforce the agreement against that individual. Also, the court will not enforce a prenuptial agreement that it determines was “unconscionable” at the time it was made, meaning it was blatantly unfair or one-sided.
Finally, a party to a prenuptial agreement is required to make a fair and reasonable disclosure of personal property and debts to the other party before the agreement is signed. Unless this disclosure is waived in writing, failure to provide the disclosure may result in the agreement being unenforced when challenged on this ground.
Postnuptial Agreements in Florida
A postnuptial agreement is a contract made between two persons who are already married. Often, the same subjects that would be addressed in a prenuptial agreement are addressed in a postnuptial agreement. The reasons that people enter into a postnuptial agreement vary. Sometimes, couples that already have a prenuptial agreement enter into a postnuptial agreement to amend the provisions of their prenuptial agreement, or to add additional terms and provisions thereto. Other times, couples conclude that in order for their marriage to move forward and continue, certain rights upon divorce or death need to be established through a postnuptial agreement. Regardless of the reasons for entering into same, the critical test in challenging the validity of a postnuptial agreement is whether there was fraud or overreaching on one side, or, assuming unreasonableness, whether the challenging spouse did not have adequate knowledge of marital property and income of parties at time agreement was reached.
Get Help with Florida Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements from a Knowledgeable and Experienced Boca Raton Family Law Attorney
For help drafting a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement that will be valid and enforceable under Florida law, or to review an agreement to make sure your rights are protected, contact the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg, P.A. in Boca Raton at 561-288-8620.