There is a new trend coming into the 21st century surrounding marriage and the of couples to either wait longer to get married, or to never engage in a legal marriage at all. However, with these long-term relationships, couples seemingly act just as any other married couple would. They buy houses, cars, invest in their retirement, have children, and accumulate many different types of debts and assets. However, those couples who wish to never, take the plunge, and enter into a legal marriage will not receive the legal protections that a marriage provides. Therefore, some couples ask how they may protect themselves in their long-term relationship through contracts similar to a prenuptial agreement. With this being a fairly new movement, it is important to receive proper legal advice from a knowledgeable Florida Divorce Attorney to ensure you are protected in your relationship, should it come to an unfortunate end.
Of course, the first item to note is that you will not be able to obtain a prenuptial agreement. Those types of agreements are specifically formulated with the intention to marry and the marriage being the proper consideration for the contract. Therefore, without an intention to marry and no legal marriage, you will be barred from the formally titled prenuptial agreement. Rather, you may want to draft a cohabitation agreement with your partner.
Cohabitation agreements, or domestic partnership agreements cannot only provide protections for the parties but also assign duties and requirements of each, upon the demise of a relationship. These agreements fall under the broader contract term laws, but due to the nature of the relationship and the purpose of the agreement, your Florida Divorce Attorney, who is experienced in the family law matters that any couple, married or not, face is uniquely qualified to draft this document and ensure each necessary matter is properly handled.
This agreement can discuss the division of property, whether one party will keep the home and pay the respective party their half of the equity; or if the parties will sell the home and split the profits; or even if one party will keep one property while the other party keeps another. You can distribute vehicles to each party or portions of a retirement account you have accumulated. Further, you may also designate if financial support is needed after a break up. In a prenuptial agreement this would be discussed as alimony, however, the need of financial support should be discussed in detail as to how much financial support is needed as well as the duration of said support. Further, you will want to discuss the division of credit card debts, mortgage payments, outstanding loans; as well as the division of money in joint or split bank accounts. The benefit to such agreements is that you are in full control. You and your partner will be able to set the terms and have no intervention from third parties as to where your personal items may go.
There are many details that must go into such an agreement, after having built a life together, there are many items to dissolve. Further, the court requires certain statutory formalities of contracts in order for them to be valid. Therefore, it is important to ensure you cover each necessary topic with your Florida Divorce Attorney, they will ensure you are properly protected and a fair agreement is reached.
Speaking to an attorney at our Florida office is free of charge, and we accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us at 850-307-5211 or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today.