When planning a wedding, or contemplating a marriage with a partner, one of the last things on a couple’s mind is the contractual agreements that may need to be entered into between them. However, if the question of a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement does arise, it is important to know the distinctions between these two documents and which one might be best for your marriage. If you have any questions regarding a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, contact a Tallahassee Family Law Attorney today.
The main distinction between a premarital and post nuptial agreement is the timing of such a contract. A prenuptial agreement is made in contemplation of marriage with the marriage being the necessary consideration required of a contract. Therefore, such agreements are made prior to a marriage ceremony. In contrast, a postnuptial agreement is made during the course of a marriage. However, both of these agreements address similar, if not identical topics, such as what occurs in the case of a divorce or death of your spouse regarding: the classification of marital and nonmarital assets and respective distribution of such, past and future earnings, retirement accounts, alimony awards, and any other topics deemed appropriate or applicable to the individual couple. Yet, when deciding if you should obtain either a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement it is important to look at your specific needs, or desires, in comparison to what each agreement can provide you.
For instance, many engage in a prenuptial agreement to deter the suspicions or worry of a spouse entering the marriage based solely on financial status. Therefore, the couple can draft certain limitations on property awards, alimony, and have their future spouse waive their right to any future earnings of a business venture, in order to alleviate some worry of financial motives. Other couples contract a prenuptial agreement to make full disclosures of their individual finances, including assets, liabilities, and income. This provides for a better understanding of the financial status of the parties and allows each to determine the divestment of each debt or asset upon a divorce or death of a spouse. Finally, and one of the most popular reasons a couple engages in a prenuptial agreement is to protect children from a previous relationship. These agreements can provide for the children financially, by having a partner waive rights to certain property or assets. This will protect the children in case of a death, as in Florida, the spouse will retain a great deal of property after a death, however, if contractually, a spouse has waived certain rights, and the parent has divested their interest to the children directly the spouse will have no claim.
Postnuptial agreements can be used in many different ways and are likely to be more comprehensive than a prenuptial agreement, due to the passage in time and likely acquirement of assets and debts to distribute and discuss in the contract. First, a postnuptial agreement can amend a prenuptial agreement between you and your spouse. If property has changed, or the prior agreement no longer is in your best interest, or needs to be updated in any way, a postnuptial agreement can achieve these objectives. However, a great deal of individuals enter into a postnuptial agreement when they are contemplating a divorce or separating. The couple will likely discuss every object that would be subject to their divorce, such as equitable distribution of assets and liabilities, incomes, retirement plans, the sale or transition of the home, and a parenting plan arrangement. This allows the couple, if they choose to go forward with a divorce, to have a more simplified process as they have already engaged in a settlement.
Prenuptial and post nuptial agreements can be of great aid to any couple. However, it is important to discuss with your Tallahassee Family Law Attorney which contract may best suit your needs and have them draft it in accordance with proper Florida statutory law. We will protect your rights and needs throughout this process and ensure you are properly advised of your options.
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