Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements in Pinellas County can protect the legal interests of fiancées and spouses. However, these agreements require that strict legal guidelines be followed. It is important for you to have your own competent legal representation so that your interests can be protected during this process.
Reasons to Enter into a Prenuptial Agreement
Some people mistakenly believe that prenuptial agreements are only for the very wealthy. However, this is not the case. Valid reasons to enter into a prenuptial agreement include:
- Protect children from a previous marriage – A properly-structured prenuptial agreement can protect children from an earlier marriage in case of death or divorce. A prenuptial agreement can lay the foundation to protect part of the wealthier spouse’s estate in case of death. It can also establish provisions regarding the division of property that do not put a greater amount of assets at risk in case of divorce.
- Protect a family-owned business – If one spouse has a business interest, he or she may want to protect it in case of divorce. A prenuptial agreement can prevent a spouse from accumulating an interest in the business.
- Establish alimony – Florida recognizes many forms of alimony. Spouses can negotiate well ahead of the contemplation of divorce and decide what type of alimony will be available in the event the relationship does not work out. This can provide clarity to both people in the relationship and provide some security to the spouse who is likely to benefit from the alimony.
Legal Requirements for a Prenuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement must comply with specific rules, which is why it is so important to have an experienced and competent Pinellas County family law lawyer help you during this process. Some rules to keep in mind include:
- The agreement must be in writing.
- Both parties must voluntarily enter into the agreement. Lawyers for each party should review the agreement well before the wedding to ensure that there is adequate time to contemplate the terms and make necessary changes.
- All property, assets, and debts should be disclosed to avoid legal challenges to the agreement.
- The agreement must be notarized.
- A marriage must follow to make the agreement valid.
In other situations, spouses may not have a prenuptial agreement. They may choose to enter into a contract between them after their wedding. A postnuptial agreement may discuss the agreed-upon living situation if they later become separated. It might discuss terms related to the couple’s property and finances. It may also discuss support and custody issues involving children.
For a postnuptial agreement to be valid in Florida, it must meet the following legal requirements:
- The agreement must not be entered into due to coercion or duress.
- The agreement must not be induced by fraud or misrepresentation.
- The agreement must provide a full disclosure of assets.
Contact the law offices of Tara J. Scott, a family law attorney, who can ensure any postnuptial or prenuptial agreement that you enter into meets all of your necessary requirements.