Create Yours with Our Knowledgeable Family Law Lawyers in Boca Raton
Often people get married believing their marriages will last “until death do us part”, but it has become increasingly common for couples to use prenuptial agreements to protect the assets they have upon entering the marriage. Divorce rates continue to hover at 50% for first marriages and an even higher percentage for second and third marriages. We at Feldman & Schneiderman support the use of prenuptial agreements. We go to great lengths to ensure both parties are fully-informed participants in the process of establishing such agreements.
Knowing you have properly protected your interests before marriage makes it easier to get married in a world where divorce is more common, yet more complex. Contact our family law attorneys in Boca Raton at 561-392-4400 for help.
Florida Law & Marital Agreements
A prenuptial or premarital agreement is, according to Florida statute, an agreement made in contemplation of marriage and intended to be effective upon marriage. It must be in writing and signed by both parties.
A prenuptial agreement goes into effect when the couple gets married, and is not a valid document — even if signed — if the couple decides not to marry. The couple is free to revoke or amend the agreement at a later time, but can only do so in writing. The revocation or amendment, too, must be signed by both parties.
The Uniform Pre-Marital Agreements Act is the Florida statute that dictates the requirements and limitations of these agreements. According to this statute, the circumstances under which a prenuptial agreement is written are significant. It is not valid if there was fraud, undue influence or duress or if there was not fair and reasonable disclosure of the property and financial obligations.
At Feldman & Schneiderman, we are meticulous in drafting prenuptial agreements. We know that there are two keys to ensuring the validity of prenuptial agreements:
- Financial Disclosure: The parties must exchange financial information about their respective earnings, assets and liabilities, and make financial documents available to the other to support the disclosures.
- Time: There must be sufficient time to examine and explore the financial disclosures of the other, to negotiate the terms of the Prenuptial Agreement and to decide whether to proceed to get married once the Prenuptial Agreement is signed.
We do not recommend or participate in “take it or leave it” prenuptial agreements or ones foisted on a party just days or hours before the wedding. We demand full financial disclosure and equal bargaining power.
How Postnuptial Agreements Work
The postnuptial agreement, which is quite similar to a prenuptial one, is a written contract executed after marriage to settle the assets and liabilities of a couple in the face of possible death or divorce. As with a prenuptial agreement, the contents can vary widely, but they generally include the division of property and spousal support.
There are several possible reasons for a couple to consider having a postnuptial agreement:
- To have a financial plan in place in the event of death or divorce, if there is no prenuptial agreement
- To change the terms of an existing prenuptial agreement to reflect a major change in financial circumstances, such as a career change or an inheritance
- To specify any non-traditional allocations, thereby avoiding the standard distributions granted by the state — in the case of Florida, equitable distribution.
- To give parties contemplating divorce the opportunity to try to reconcile their marriage while agreeing what happens should they divorce down the road.
Our Approach to Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements
The family law lawyers at Feldman & Schneiderman in Boca Raton advocate a formal approach to creating prenuptial and postnuptial agreements to ensure their validity. This often includes a formal signing conference where both parties and their respective lawyers are present, along with a court reporter. The transcript by the court reporter serves as evidence that both parties were fully informed participants. We have even used video conferences and translators when one party is in another country or when English is not one party’s first language.
Get trusted help creating your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Call us at 561-392-4400 today.