Fort Lauderdale Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreement Lawyer
Who should get a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement?
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can clarify obligations between spouses before conflict makes negotiation difficult. Many couples do not consider that a marital agreement can actually improve their relationship because the parties know exactly where they stand financially should the marriage fail in the future. Vanessa L. Prieto Law Offices, LLC has drafted well-considered prenuptial and postnuptial agreements for couples of all backgrounds and income levels. If you have concerns about property in your marriage, a marital agreement can reduce your uncertainty and anxiety. Contact our experienced Fort Lauderdale prenuptial & postnuptial agreement lawyer today.
What is a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement?
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are supplemental contractual agreements that are typically formed in case the marriage ends in divorce. A prenuptial, or antenuptial, agreement is entered into prior to the marriage, and a postnuptial agreement is formed during the marriage. While each marital agreement is unique, they typically include:
- Identification of current and future marital property
- Identification of current and future individual property
- Determination of spousal support if the marriage fails
- Forfeiture of property due to adultery
- Agreement to guardianships
- Instructions if a spouse passes away
The exact matters that your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement will address will, of course, depend on the financial and familial circumstances surrounding your marriage. These agreements can also include confidentiality clauses and restrictions on spouses posting about the divorce on social media or discussing terms of the divorce. One specific issue that is generally not allowed in a prenuptial agreement is the waiver or predetermination of child support, as such a determination should be made at the time of the divorce.
Should you Consider a Prenuptial Agreement?
There are many different reasons why a couple may consider signing an agreement prior to or during a marriage. Some of these reasons can include the following:
- You have significantly more wealth or property than your partner;
- Your partner has significantly more wealth or property than you;
- There is a substantial income disparity between you;
- You have been married before and/or have children from previous relationships;
- Your partner carries a substantial amount of debt;
- You own your own business or have interests in a business;
- Your estate plan has specific provisions that do not include your partner;
- You intend to stop working to care for the household and children.
Many people may think that written agreements between spouses are not romantic and anticipate that the marriage will end in divorce. However, there is nothing wrong for planning for the future and protecting your financial well-being. Prenuptial agreements can allow partners to be straightforward about how their affairs will be handled after divorce. You can feel assured that your wealth or business interests will be protected and can focus on other matters. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can work to avoid significant conflict throughout the divorce process and can even preserve a civil relationship between the former spouses, which can be essential for cooperative parenting. All in all, you should never hesitate to discuss the benefits of a prenuptial agreement with an experienced lawyer who can advise you whether such an agreement is right in your situation.
The Importance of a Well-drafted a Prenuptial Agreement
Just because you have a prenuptial agreement, however, does not necessarily mean it will hold up in court and be enforced. Courts are often suspicious of a prenuptial agreement, including the asset division, so you should rely on an experienced family lawyer for its drafting. For your marital agreement to be valid, it generally must:
- Be in writing
- Include voluntary consent
- Include full disclosure of assets and liabilities
- Be executed by both parties personally before a notary public
- Not rise to unconscionable unfairness
A skilled prenuptial agreement lawyer will know how to draft an agreement that accurately reflects the wishes of you and your spouse and that will hold up in court in the event of a divorce. If your circumstances change during your marriage and you want to amend your prenuptial agreement, you should again have a highly skilled family law attorney handling your case.
How to challenge a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
If you are getting divorced and believe that a prenuptial agreement is unfair or that you did not knowingly or voluntarily enter into the agreement, you can mount a legal challenge to the enforceability of the agreement. You can challenge marital agreements in two ways:
- Direct challenge — To challenge a marital agreement directly, one spouse must show that the agreement was reached through fraud, misrepresentation or duress.
- Indirect challenge — An indirect challenge to a marital agreement is a much more involved process. It begins with one spouse showing that the agreement is unfair or unreasonable. Once unfairness has been established, the responding spouse must then rebut a presumption that he or she concealed or failed to inform his or her spouse about their finances.
For both direct and indirect challenges to a marital agreement, an experienced family lawyer can help you understand the legal requirements and level of court-reviewed scrutiny. You can then present evidence that you were not aware of the true financial situation of your partner, that your partner pressured you into signing the agreement, that the agreement is unfair, or any other basis for challenging the contract.
Our experienced Fort Lauderdale prenuptial and postnuptial lawyer can draft your marital agreement
Marital agreements can decide marital property issues in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties before they become contentious. For a free initial consultation, visit Vanessa L. Prieto, LLC at our Fort Lauderdale office close to Broward Hospital, north of Davie Boulevard, and just three blocks from the county courthouse. Call us today at 954.817.0402 or contact us online. We are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., and we offer Saturday appointments upon request.