Premarital Agreements and Divorce
Marriage is an important decision for many different reasons. While thousands of marriages are entered into each year in this country, the divorce rate throughout the United States is alarming to many. When entering into a marriage, many people typically choose to protect themselves by signing a premarital agreement, most commonly known as a prenuptial agreement. If you or someone you know is interested in creating a premarital agreement, you will need the assistance of an experienced attorney to draft or review any prenuptial agreement. As a family lawyer in Miami, I can help you determine if a prenuptial agreement is right for you and assist you in determining the terms that best meet your needs.
Importance of a Premarital Agreement
Premarital agreements protect your financial assets. It not only protects assets that are acquired during the marriage but also the growth of your assets that are acquired before the marriage. It is essential to understand that once two parties are married, each spouse obtains rights to share specific resources including wages, property, and debts in the event of a divorce. Premarital agreements allow the parties to alter the respective rights each has. Typically, prenuptial contracts modify or change the parties' rights concerning:
- Spousal support;
- Child-support (although it cannot be waived completely by law);
- How the growth of any assets obtained before the marriage are divided;
- How assets received during the marriage are divided;
- How debts acquired during the marriage are divided;
Challenging a Premarital Agreement
In most cases, a premarital agreement is a binding agreement between the parties. After a separation, many individuals seek to challenge these agreements. There are a few ways to challenge a premarital agreement, which is dependent on the ability to prove that the agreement was not validly entered into. The party who seeks to challenge the prenuptial agreement can show that the agreement was not validly entered into in many ways. For example, they can claim that the agreement was not voluntary, the parties did not provide fair and reasonable financial disclosure, or that the agreement was entered into while fraud, duress, or coercion was present.
Challenging premarital agreements is difficult in Florida Courts. The courts typically enforce these contracts, finding that individuals only seek to challenge the agreement for their benefit after the fact. When you are considering challenging these contracts, you need an experienced attorney who has a thorough understanding of the narrow exceptions to the law.
Modification of Premarital Agreement
Once a premarital agreement is entered into, there are limited ways to modify the agreement. Florida courts require that any changes desired are put in writing, and the parties sign the agreement. This protects the individuals by ensuring that the intentions of the parties are indicated. One crucial difference between the original premarital agreement and modification is that modifications do not require consideration in exchange for the agreement.
Speak with Me Today
My practice is exclusively devoted to family law. In my practice, I have created pre- and post-nuptial agreements and I will be happy to create a contract for you that complies with Florida Law. Feel free to reach me today for a free phone consultation.