Prenuptial And Postnuptial Agreements
Prenuptial agreements are important for couples planning to marry. Many people believe prenuptial agreements are only for the rich and famous. However, prenuptial agreements help all couples. Here are a few reasons why:
They Keep Your Non-Marital Property Non-Marital. The property you brought into the marriage is yours. But over time it is common for people to start mixing things up. Inheritance funds get deposited into joint accounts; properties get transferred into joint names…and all for good reason. Unfortunately, tracing commingled property is expensive, and hard to prove. But, if you put it in writing at the beginning, you can avoid this task and save some money down the road.
You Can Change the Law. Right now in Florida, there has been an ongoing debate about alimony. When you go to court, a judge has to follow state law regarding alimony. However, through an agreement you can modify Florida’s legal standards for awarding alimony, in addition to modifying what the current law says about the amount of support and the duration of the alimony period.
Avoid Expensive Divorces. Let’s face it, divorce can be expensive, and the cases don’t end quickly. A prenuptial agreement can simplify things by resolving issues ahead of time, way before the divorce is even filed. Once you have entered an agreement spelling out what happens in the event of a divorce, the case becomes a lot cheaper, simpler and faster to resolve.
Protect Your Children’s Inheritance. Prenuptial agreements protect property from falling into the hands of the new spouse, often seen by children from earlier marriages as a “gold digger.” An agreement helps assure your children that any inheritance is protected, and they don’t need to resent the new spouse.
The probability of divorce is around 50% for first marriages. For second marriages, it’s more like 67%. What some people don’t realize is that going through a second, third, or fourth divorce can be more complicated than first-time divorces.
In multiple divorces, couples are older, and have less time to make up for losses. Also, couples are competing for dwindling resources. Child-support, alimony, and dividing up of the retirement accounts may still be pending, and there can be little left to divide in a second divorce.
Prenuptial agreements can also be set aside. Florida has both case law and a statute to help lawyers, judges and the parties determine if a prenuptial agreement is enforceable. Florida courts must consider things such as fraud, duress, coercion, in addition to the unfairness of the agreement, and whether there was any financial disclosure.
Postnuptial agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements, but are entered into after a marriage. Postnups can cover everything from how to divide financial assets in divorce to limits on partners’ weight gain – just as prenups can.
Prenuptial agreements and Postnuptial agreements can be extremely important if you are thinking of marrying. They are not just for the ultra-rich, but are an important part of every healthy marriage decision.