If you are planning your wedding, the last thing on your mind is what to do with your assets if the marriage does not work out. Yet, a prenuptial agreement can save a lot of turmoil and animosity later, if you decide to end your union. A prenuptial agreement is a legal document that outlines how the couple’s assets will be distributed in a divorce. It may also provide guidance on issues such as spousal support.
Do We Need a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is not a necessity and it is not a prerequisite to tying the knot. In Florida, as in most places, property and assets that are obtained after the marriage are considered marital property and are to be distributed equitably in a divorce. Property and other assets that you owned prior to the wedding are typically yours alone, possibly even after a divorce. So what is the purpose of a prenuptial agreement?
Prenuptial agreements, also known as premarital agreements, are contracts. They provide a way for couples to resolve divorce settlement issues before they even get married. The contract sets forth the way property, alimony and other financial assets are to be divided in a divorce. Once thought of as an option only for the wealthy or celebrities, a prenup is a tool that is accessible and available to all couples, regardless of their current financial state.
Will a Prenuptial Agreement be Enforced?
A prenuptial agreement is a contract and will be reviewed as such in a divorce. Florida, along with other states, utilizes the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act (UPAA) to determine whether a prenuptial agreement is enforceable. The UPAA sets forth some rules that help courts decide the enforceability of a prenup.
Prenuptial agreements must be made in writing and must be voluntarily signed by both parties. Before signing a prenup, both parties are supposed to provide full disclosure of their finances. For this reason, an experienced Brevard County family law attorney and accountant are helpful when creating an enforceable prenuptial agreement. Generally, when an agreement is fair to both parties and was agreed to prior to the marriage, the courts will enforce the contract.
There are several situations that make a prenuptial agreement unenforceable. When one party did not sign the agreement or signed it under duress, it will not be enforced. Another reason it may not be enforced is if one party hid assets from the other before signing. This act of fraud will make the contract unenforceable. If the marriage is annulled, the prenuptial agreement is no longer valid.
Sometimes, the judge may review a prenuptial agreement and determine that it is unfair to one of the parties. In that case, the judge can overrule the prenup and make a ruling that provides for fair distribution of assets.
Whether you want to create a prenuptial agreement or contest one that is in place, it is necessary to seek help from an experienced Brevard County family attorney. Your lawyer will review all the aspects of the situation and offer some legal options. Contact our experienced lawyers at Henderson Legal Group to discuss your case today.