Prenups Are Not Just For The Wealthy
According to ehow.com The Center for Disease Control's latest statistics show that 43 percent of all marriages will end in divorce after 10 years. Divorce can become complicated when the couple has accumulated property or assets, or when they came into the marriage with property or assets. Under Florida law, soon-to-be spouses can agree to a prenuptial agreement that will dictate how their property, spousal support, death benefits and assets will be divided if they are divorced.
Formalities of the Agreement
Florida'sUniform Premarital Agreement Act includes specific requirements needed for a prenuptial, or premarital, agreement to be valid. The agreement must be in writing, meaning the court will not enforce any verbal arrangements made between the parties. Both parties must sign the agreement. Lastly, the agreement is valid without either party giving anything up or forfeiting any rights. The fact that the two parties are getting married is enough to create a valid agreement.
Content of the Agreement
In the 1970s, the Florida Supreme Court expanded the variety of rights and property that can be included in a prenuptial agreement by adding spousal support to the list. Presently, under Florida law, parties can use a prenuptial agreement to agree to rights in property, issues in regard to spousal support, the making of a will, ownership rights in death benefits, and any other matter not in violation of public policy. Agreeing to something illegal under Florida law would be an example of a matter in violation of public policy.
Time of Effectiveness of the Agreement
The prenuptial agreement goes into effect when the couple gets married. If the couple signs a prenuptial agreement, but does not get married, there is no valid agreement, no valid contract, and the signed agreement has no effect on their lives.
Amending or Abandoning the Agreement
If, at any time after marriage, a couple that has a valid prenuptial agreement decides they no longer want the agreement, they can revoke the agreement. They can also amend the agreement. There are two stipulations in Florida's law. First, the revocation or amendment must be in writing. Second, both parties must agree to and sign the revocation or amendment.
Enforcement of the Agreement
Florida's Family Law Rules of Procedure stipulate multiple ways in which a prenuptial agreement is not enforceable. Example are if either party can prove that he did not sign the agreement voluntarily, perhaps due to fraud, duress or coercion, or that the terms of the agreement were very unfair and one party was not provided fair access to the other party's financial situation.
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Why Do People Sign Prenuptial Agreements?
The prenuptial agreement is a premarital contract that spells out the financial settlements that would take place in the event the marriage ends in divorce. Prenups are usually associated with wealthy people, but they may also be advisable for people with children from prior marriages, business owners or people who may come into an inheritance in the future.
There are several reasons that a person signs a prenuptial agreement. Wealthy people that enter marriage with substantial assets are likely to require a prenuptial agreement on advice of their attorney. Their betrothed may sign the agreement as a stipulation of entering a marriage they desire.
The prenuptial agreement turns the marriage into what seems like a business arrangement, but the agreement can protect both spouses. While one could take a moral high ground and say that people should not enter marriage with the anticipation of divorce, the sad fact is that the divorce rate is high. A prenuptial agreement does not mean there will be a divorce, but offers a level of comfort and assurance in knowing how property and assets will be divided in the event the marriage comes to an end.
People who sign a prenuptial agreement in advance have the psychological benefit of knowing in advance what their financial picture would look like if they get divorced.
People who sign a prenuptial agreement often have assets and property to protect. They may want to make sure that their assets will be kept out of marital property so that they can pass on to their children or specified beneficiaries.
People who have substantial wealth, assets, anticipated inheritance, retirement saving, property holdings and children from a prior marriage can benefit from the assurance offered by a prenup.
It is also common for people who have been married previously to desire a prenup, possibly because both parties have their own assets and children to leave them to. Prenuptial agreements help to assure all parties that the division as assets will not be an issue in case of a divorce.
People who own a business also may wish to have a prenup so that the business stays whole in the event of a claim against it in case of divorce. People who anticipate receiving an inheritance may also try to prevent the inheritance from being considered marital property.
Prenuptial agreements can also benefits the less wealthy spouse, as they have the chance to negotiate their future financial settlement and alimony prior to the marriage, when people should be getting along better.
The prenuptial agreement should be drafted to be fair to both parties, for the sake of the marriage and also to prevent it being overturned in the event of a divorce.
If you are looking for a lawyer in the Miami or Fort Lauderdale area to assisit you with a prenupual agreement contact The Law Offices of Eric A. Kay, PA. They are located at 12 SE 7th Street Suite 707, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 and 123 SE 3rd Avenue #252, Miami, FL 33131, 954-330-8994.
They speicialize in Family Law and know what needs to be done inorder to secure a legal and fair prenuptual agreement.