Prenuptial Agreement (Prenup) Lawyers
When spouses agree to marry, they are legally bound to each other. For the rest of their lives, they are expected to protect, love, and care for one another. While the concepts of loyalty and love seems pure and everlasting, divorces are becoming far more common everyday. In the event that a divorce becomes necessary, you and your spouse may wish to consider drafting a prenuptial agreement prior to your marriage.
What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenup agreement is a legal document that spouses enter upon marrying. The document outlines how assets, debts and other resources will be governed and distributed during a divorce. Prenups may also govern the roles and responsibilities of each spouse, and how the couple will handle conflicts and disagreements.
Drafting a Prenuptial Agreement
There are various ways to draft a prenup. Every couple is different, and every couple has unique needs and desires. Therefore, there are no solid, strict, or fixed universal prenuptial guidelines that can be applied to all marriages. Instead, spouses should communicate with each other and determine how they want their assets and debts to be distributed (if a divorce becomes necessary). Then, they should contact an experienced prenup lawyer for review and assistance.
Types of Prenups
Prenups can be arranged in several different ways. In the state of Florida, the most common structures for prenuptial agreements include sunset clauses and escalator clauses.
A sunset clause is a stipulation in the prenuptial agreement that specifies a certain date in which the document will be terminated. In other words, the prenuptial agreement is temporary. Couples may decide the date and/or year that the sunset clause takes effect.
Meanwhile, an escalator clause is a provision in a prenup that enables an increase of assets or support to be given to one spouse, in the event that the other spouse’s income and/or assets significantly rise.
Often, spouses do not believe that a prenup is necessary until months, even years after being married. If this occurs, couples have the option of drafting a postnuptial agreement, which will govern the future years of the marriage and how assets/debts will be distributed if a divorce becomes necessary.
No matter what type or form of prenuptial agreement you and your spouse may wish to enter, you should contact an experienced family divorce lawyer for help.
Do I Need a Prenup? Rely on Experienced Prenup Lawyers
Without a prenuptial agreement, divorcing parties are subject to the laws of the State of Florida as well as laws that can change during the marriage. Prenuptial agreements allow the parties to enter into a marriage with more certainty as to what to expect if a dissolution occurs. Issues regarding asset division, asset allocation, asset valuation, spousal support rights and the vast majority of all economic issues can be set forth in the agreement. It is important that the parties, especially the party in the superior economic position, disclose a complete picture of his or her finances so that the prenuptial agreement has the best chance of surviving a challenge. It is also important to introduce the idea of a premarital agreement as early as possible so as to minimize the chance of it being attacked from a standpoint of coercion. Ideally, the document is reviewed and signed before the wedding dress is bought and invitations are sent.
At The Smith Family Law Firm, P.A., we draft proposed prenuptial agreements for parties, and, in other cases, review the proposed prenuptial agreement drafted by other attorneys to provide analysis as well as opinions on how the prenuptial agreement would affect a person’s rights.
Although prenuptial agreements are legally binding, there are a few factors that allow for their voidance. Below are common examples of when a prenup could become invalid.
- The document was drafted under fraudulent names and/or inadequate representation of assets and income
- The document was signed without legal representation
- The document was not properly filed with the relevant court
- One or more of the spouses was intoxicated, coerced, or lacked the mental capacity to handle official matters
If you believe that your prenuptial agreement was drafted under conditions that may qualify it for voidance, you should contact an experienced divorce attorney.
Orlando Attorneys for Prenuptial Agreements
At the Smith Family Law Firm, P.A., our experienced divorce lawyers have seen it all. We understand how difficult it may be to draft a prenuptial agreement with your spouse without compromising the health and integrity of your marriage. With our assistance, you can trust that each individual in the marriage will have his/her needs accounted for and protected.
Contact our family law firm in Orlando, FL, today for a free initial consultation.