– Nuptial Agreements –

The Eric Boles Law Firm can help you to prevent future financial surprises and ruin by setting up a formal premarital agreement

Eric-Boles-Law-Firm-Nuptial-AgreementsBreakup of an intimate, personal relationship is hard are questions of property division and financial support must be settled. Couples can simplicity the process by having a prenuptial (or, later on, postnuptial) agreement in place in case the relationship fails.

Types of Nuptial Agreements

There are two types of nuptial agreements: prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements. Prenuptial agreements (also known as premarital agreements or antenuptial agreements) are agreements entered into by the parties contemplating marriage prior to marriage that set forth the rights and obligations of each party in the event of death or divorce, and during the marriage. Postnuptial agreements (also known as postmarital agreements) are agreements entered into by the parties after marriage that set forth the rights and obligations of each party in the event of death or divorce, and during the marriage. Postnuptial agreements can be used when no divorce is contemplated or when divorce is not imminent. When divorce is imminent, postnuptial agreements are referred to as separation agreements.

Purposes of Nuptial Agreements

There are three main purposes of nuptial agreements. The first purpose is to provide for the protection of assets in the event of divorce of the parties. In property division, Florida follows the theory of equitable distribution. In other words, the court will make an “equitable” distribution of the property and assets of the marriage based on the circumstances of the parties. F.S. §61.075 provides for the equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities.

Prenuptial or Postnuptial?

In Florida there is a significant difference between the prenuptial agreement and the postnuptial agreement and the courts tend to assume that a prenuptial agreement is always valid and prefer them as opposed to a postnuptial agreement. The Eric Boles Law Firm in Tampa, Florida will educate you on the differences between the two agreements and that the prenuptial agreement will protect all your assets prior to entering into a marriage or union, while a postnuptial agreement is harder to enforce. Although a Prenuptial Agreement is preferable; a Postnuptial Agreement is better than no agreement at all.

Prenuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement (antenuptial agreement, or premarital agreement, prenup or prenupt) is a Family Law contract entered into prior to marriage or civil union. The content of a prenuptial agreement can vary widely, but usually includes provisions for division of property and spousal support in the event of divorce or breakup of marriage or civil unions. It is normally “notarized” or acknowledged and is usually the subject of the statute of frauds.

Prenuptial Agreements may also include terms for the forfeiture of assets as a result of divorce on the grounds of adultery and conditions of guardianship may be included. They can act as a contract to make a will and/or eliminate all your rights to property, probate homestead, probate allowance, right to take as a predetermined heir, and the right to act as an executor and administrator of your spouse’s estate.

Keep in mind that the following elements are required to make the agreement valid:

  • The Prenuptial Agreement must be fair, in writing, signed by both parties, and properly witnessed
  • The Prenuptial Agreement must be executed voluntarily
  • There must be full disclosure of each party’s financial picture as of the time of execution of the Agreement

It is also advised that each party obtain his or her own legal representation when drafting a prenuptial agreement to insure that each party is fully and fairly advised as to the consequences of entering the Prenuptial Agreement.

Postnuptial Agreement

A Postnuptial Agreement is a written contract executed after a couple gets married, or has entered a civil union, to settle the couple’s affairs and assets in the event of a separation or divorce. Like the contents of a prenuptial agreement, provisions vary widely but commonly include provisions for division of property and spousal support in the event of divorce, death of one of the spouses, or breakup of marriage. Florida takes a contract law approach to the matter and treats postnuptials as properly enforceable contracts, subject to the prevailing Florida Law.

Keep in mind that the following elements are required to make the agreement valid:

  • The Postnuptial Agreement must be fair, in writing, signed by both parties, and properly witnessed
  • The Postnuptial Agreement must be executed voluntarily
  • There must be full disclosure of each party’s financial picture as of the time of execution of the Agreement

It is also advised that each party obtain his or her own legal representation when drafting a prenuptial agreement to insure that each party is fully and fairly advised as to the consequences of entering the Postnuptial Agreement.

Contact a Florida Family Lawyer experienced in Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

If you are planning to get married or enter into a civil union, you should consider a formal premarital agreement to prevent future financial surprises and ruin. Nuptial agreements provide surety in a world where love and marriage may not.

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements can get extremely complicated since such an agreement may alter property rights, title, and also trigger significant tax implications. A nuptial agreement attorney at Eric Boles Law Firm in Tampa, Florida can advise you on all aspects and the impact of executing a nuptial agreement. For a complimentary consultation with a compassionate Family Law Attorney knowledgeable on Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements at the Eric Boles Law Firm complete the contact form (click here) or do not hesitate to call (813) 933-7700.