Defining Your Assets Through A Prenuptial Or Postnuptial Agreement
Prenuptial (before marriage) and postnuptial (after marriage) agreements define what will happen to each spouse’s assets if the marriage ends in death or divorce. These agreements can serve a variety of purposes and allow couples to enter their marriages with a firm understanding of their finances.
If you are wondering if a prenup or postnup is right for you, discuss the matter with attorney Ada M. Barreto. As the founding attorney of the Law Office of Ada M. Barreto, P.A., Ms. Barreto has been assisting people with family law issues in South Florida for over 25 years.
Prenup Vs. Postnup: Is There A Difference?
Whether you decide to create your agreement before or after your marriage is more a matter of timing than anything else. Although there may be a few minor differences, you can generally enter an agreement any time before you divorce. Both are legitimate family law contracts between spouses in Florida. They both cover the distribution of assets and, in some cases, alimony, in the event of separation, divorce or death. In both cases, the parties must both sign a written agreement with both parties having access to separate legal advice. Any sign of fraud, duress, coercion or one party failing to accurately disclose their financial situation can result in the court refusing to enforce.
What Can Your Prenup Do For You?
Many people assume that the only time couples need this type of agreement is when one person is much wealthier than the other. In fact, couples enter into prenuptial or postnuptial agreements for many reasons, such as:
- Protecting assets for children from a prior marriage – When you remarry, you may want to ensure that your children have access to the assets you set aside for them.
- Protecting a professional practice – For many logistical and practical reasons, you may want to keep your professional practice separate from your marital property.
- Protecting a small business – If you worked hard to build your business, you may want to control how and when you pass that business to another person.
- Keeping debts separate – Normally when you marry, your debts combine, just as your assets do. You may have reasons for wanting to shield yourself from your spouse’s creditors.
These are just a few examples of concerns people have when they come to the Law Office of Ada M. Barreto, P.A., to create a prenup or postnup.
Limitations On Your Agreement
There are certain things that your prenup cannot do under Florida law. These include:
- Violations of the law or public policy – Not including illegal provisions may seem obvious, but not violating public policy can be trickier. For example, you cannot include provisions that encourage divorce.
- Agreements regarding child support, custody or visitation – Only the court can have the final say on issues regarding children. You and your spouse can submit a separate agreement on these issues to the court if you divorce, but you cannot include them in a prenup.
- Nonfinancial issues – A prenup cannot cover behaviors or obligations of the parties outside of finances.
When you have a skilled, experienced attorney like Ms. Barreto preparing your agreement, you can trust that it will follow the law and stand up to any future challenges in court.