UNDERSTANDING NUPTIAL AGREEMENTS
Section 61.079, Florida Statutes, defines and sets out the parameters for premarital agreements, also referred to as prenuptial agreements or "prenups". There are various reasons as to why a nuptial agreement is filed and situations where one is appropriate. Having an agreement in place can protect assets in the event of a divorce, properly distribute assets in the event of death, and set forth spousal obligations and responsibilities during the marriage.
Deciding whether or not to file a nuptial agreement depends largely on the circumstances of both parties, including whether there is significant debt, if there are children from previous relationships, or if a spouse wishes to have clear designations in the event of a divorce.
CONTENTS AND REQUIREMENTS OF A NUPTIAL AGREEMENT
There are certain requirements that an agreement must have in order for it to be valid, such as consent from both parties (i.e. no individual can be pressured to sign the agreement), reasonable fairness to both parties, and valid provisions.
Nuptial agreements are required to be in writing and executed by both parties. The content of the agreement can address numerous topics, some of which are as follows:
Rights and obligations of each party to the property of the other no matter when or how acquired;
The right to manage and control property by one or both parties;
Disposition of property in the event of separation, divorce, death, or other defined event;
Establishment, modification, or waiver, of spousal support;
Making a will, trust or other instrument to carry out terms of the agreement;
Management and handling of life insurance policies; and
Designation of choice of law regarding construction, and enforcement of the agreement.
A nuptial agreement is not enforceable if the party against whom enforcement is sought proves, among other things, that the agreement was obtained by fraud or duress, the agreement was unconscionable and before execution of the agreement that party was not provided a fair and reasonable disclosure of property and obligations of the other party, or the agreement inappropriately modifies or eliminates spousal support. Nuptial agreements may be amended, modified, or terminated by written agreement of the parties.
CONSULT WITH AN EXPERIENCED ATTORNEY
If you have questions about nuptial agreements or are unsure how to proceed, don't hesitate to contact our firm to secure an appointment with us. Stan Peeler has over 35 years of experience assisting clients in family law matters and can provide the guidance you need.
Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation with us. We welcome you to call us at 850-432-7705 or complete our online form here by providing us with the details of your legal needs.