Prenuptial and Post-nuptial Agreements/Post Judgment Modifications in Florida
As of 2019, the divorce rate was about 44 percent in America. Yet with a divorce rate that high, few people go into a marriage thinking they might end up in divorce court. In fact, according to Hello Prenup, only about 11 percent of all couples who marry think their marriage might end up in divorce and only about 5 percent have protected themselves with a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement in the event divorce occurs. This means that while most of us acknowledge the high chance of divorce, we simply do not think it will ever happen to us.
It can be helpful to think of a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement as something akin to insurance—life insurance, health insurance, auto and home insurance. Insurance protects us when the unthinkable occurs and a pre or post-nuptial agreement protects us when the unthinkable in our relationship occurs. Further, prenuptial and post-nuptial are not just for celebrities or the super-rich—they are for every single couple that wants to ensure they are both protected in the event of a divorce.
Whether you are getting married or are already married, considering a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement is one of the smartest things you can do. Speaking to a prenuptial lawyer from Lauriston Law Firm can help ensure you have a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement that corresponds directly to the needs of you and your partner. We can answer all your questions related to pre and post-nuptial agreements, making the conversation a comfortable one rather than an awkward one.
Florida Law Regarding Prenuptial and Post-nuptial Agreements
The 2021 Florida Statutes, Chapter 61 (61.079), discuss the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. Florida law recognizes both prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements during a divorce or following a death. There can be a number of issues and complexities associated with these types of agreements that are best addressed by an experienced Broward County prenuptial agreement attorney from Lauriston Law Firm.
Is a Prenuptial or Post-nuptial Agreement Right for You and Your Spouse?
Most couples enter into a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement for one of two reasons:
- The couple wants certainty in the division of their property in the event of a divorce or death
- One party wishes to protect the property rights of his or her children from a prior marriage
While most people think a pre or post nuptial agreement is only for the benefit of the spouse with more assets, the goal of these agreements is to properly protect both parties. It is important that you and your spouse—or future spouse—have an open, honest discussion regarding the terms of the agreement. If both spouses are not one hundred percent on board, then there should be additional negotiations.
What is Required in a Prenuptial or Post-nuptial Agreement in the State of Florida?
In order to be valid, a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement must:
- Be in writing—if the agreement is not in writing, it is not enforceable, therefore, an oral agreement between the parties is not legally enforceable by the court
- Have the signatures of both parties to demonstrate both parties read and understood the agreement
- Include a valid marriage—i.e, a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement is only valid if a marriage follows, or is already in place
- Contain terms and provisions that properly meet Florida statutes
A Florida prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement may only cover the following topics:
- Property rights and obligations regarding ownership and payment of debt, etc.
- Who is allowed to use or control specific properties
- What happens to specific properties upon the death, separation, or divorce of either party
- Spousal support
- The ownership rights and disposition of life insurance policies
- Any other personal rights that do not violate strong public policy or a Florida criminal law
To ensure your prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement fully adheres to Florida law, it is essential that you speak to a highly skilled prenuptial agreements attorney from Lauriston Law Firm. This will ensure your agreement fully meets every goal you have for the agreement.
Can a Prenuptial or Post-nuptial Agreement Be Set Aside?
It is important to understand that the court will not protect one party during a divorce or after a death if that party simply agreed to a “bad deal.” Under limited circumstances, however, a court may agree it should not enforce a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement—usually, because one party engaged in bad conduct. The court is allowed to set aside a pre or post-nuptial agreement under the following circumstances:
- Both parties agree in writing that the pre or post-nuptial agreement should be set aside.
- One of the parties did not voluntarily sign the agreement—signing a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement must be a voluntary act, not induced by other promises, by fraud, or under duress. As an example, if one party offers the other a diamond bracelet for signing the agreement, then it may not be considered voluntary.
- One party lied, concealed the truth, misrepresented his or her financial situation, or otherwise acted fraudulently.
- The court finds that the agreement itself is unreasonable. This could be a factor in a situation where one spouse was unable to read or understand English yet signed the agreement.
How Do I Choose the Best Prenuptial/Post-nuptial Lawyer?
It is essential that you have the very best prenuptial/post-nuptial lawyer on your side when you enter into a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement. Choosing an attorney for post-nuptial agreements or prenuptial agreements follows the same process as finding any other type of attorney. Family law attorneys, like those from Lauriston Law Firm, are those who typically handle these agreements. You may choose your attorney based on recommendations from a friend, family member, or co-worker, after conducting research online, or you may choose to contact the Florida State Bar Association. We at Lauriston Law Firm, hope you will give us a chance to answer your questions and detail how we can help you with your pre or post-nuptial agreement.
Prenuptial and Post-nuptial Estate Planning Issues
While pre and post-nuptial agreements can be important if there is a divorce, they can be equally important as estate planning tools. When there is a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement in place, the death of a spouse does not leave as many things up in the air as when there is an agreement in place. When there is a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement in place it is made clear what the spouse is entitled to and what children from a prior marriage are entitled to.
How Can the Attorneys at Lauriston Law Firm Help Me with a Pre/Post-nuptial Agreement?
At Lauriston Law Firm, we believe strongly in being totally transparent every step of the way. This means that while we provide honesty, trust, and advocacy, we are highly solution-focused. You will find that we are not your “typical” law firm. While we are highly skilled, highly experienced, and incredibly knowledgeable, our first priority is always to you—your future, your rights. Contact Lauriston Law Firm today.