Prenuptial Agreements

The law regarding prenuptial agreements varies from state to state. Some states have adopted a Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, including Florida. Florida’s uniform law governing prenups can be found in §61.079 Fla. Stat. (2016). The law defines a prenuptial agreement as an agreement between two people who intend to be married. The Act specifies when the prenup becomes effective, the content that should be included in a prenup, the issues that may be included in an agreement, enforcement of the prenup, and amendments to the agreement.

Even though Florida has a specific prenup law, parties are urged to consult with an experienced West Palm Beach prenuptial attorney. There are many issues that must be addressed to ensure that your best interests are protected. Furthermore, litigation regarding prenups can be complex with life-altering consequences. If you are contemplating entering into a prenuptial agreement or you need assistance enforcing an agreement, contact our West Palm Beach family law attorney at 561-420-8500 for a free consultation.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenup, also referred to as a premarital agreement, allows prospective spouses to enter into a binding agreement (a contract) that resolves several issues in the event of a separation or divorce. The contract does not become effective until the parties are married.

Many people believe that planning for a divorce before they are married is nothing more than admitting the marriage will not work. However, this assumption about premarital agreements is not true. Couples who utilize prenups do so for many reasons. For some, it is about protecting premarital assets for children from a previous relationship or protecting a family business or inheritance.

For other couples, it is about working through potential divorce issues while they are loving, caring partners who are willing to work together for their best interest and the best interest of the family to resolve issues that could result in substantial pain, frustration, and costly litigation if they try to resolve them after they separate.

In addition to resolving issues that pertain to the end of a marriage, a premarital agreement gives the couple a chance to openly communicate about financial issues, a common cause of marital strife. Prenups allow couples to settle matters between themselves that could be left to the courts to decide in the event of a divorce, such as the division of marital property and alimony. The process allows couples to dictate what happens instead of allowing the courts and the Florida legislature to do that for them.

What Types of Matters Can a Prenuptial Agreement Cover?

The topics covered in a prenuptial agreement are up to the couple, except for matters specifically prohibited by statute. Examples of issues that are covered in premarital agreements include:

  • Division of marital property and marital debt
  • Protection of premarital assets and responsibility for premarital debts
  • Protection of family owned business or family inheritance
  • Spousal support
  • Specific agreements related to the terms of a separation or divorce
  • Protection of intellectual property and retirement plans
  • Providing for children with special needs
  • Protecting assets held in a trust
  • The financial responsibility for the costs of a divorce action

There are many issues a couple can address in their prenuptial agreement, but there are some matters the courts and the legislature have said cannot be resolved in a prenup.

Custody and Support Are Not Included

You cannot use a premarital agreement to set child support or specify parental responsibility or time-sharing rights. The courts must determine what is in the best interest of the child in a divorce. Your attorney can advise you further regarding matters that may not be included in a prenup.

Call an Experienced Palm Beach County Prenup Attorney

If you have questions regarding premarital agreements, we have the answers. Contact The Eaton Family Law Firm 561-420-8500 (24/7) to request a free

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