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Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
Marriage is an emotional journey, but it is also a legal contract, and a divorce is the dissolution of that contract. A prenuptial agreement is another contract that goes into effect upon marriage, and that will guide how certain aspects of your divorce will be resolved in the event that your marriage ends in divorce. What a prenuptial agreement is not, however, is a sign that you are not invested in your marriage. Having a prenuptial agreement in place can actually help protect your marriage, and it in no way increases the likelihood that you will eventually divorce. If you have questions or concerns about either a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, don’t put off consulting with an experienced Florida divorce attorney.
Prenuptial vs. Postnuptial Agreements
Prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements are both legal contracts that can address specific financial concerns that relate to your marriage ending in either divorce or death. The distinction between the two is that a prenuptial agreement is executed prior to marriage and goes into effect upon marriage, while a postnuptial agreement is entered into while the couple is married and goes into effect as soon as it is executed (signed by both parties). An important note to make is that these agreements must be entered into freely and without coercion of any kind. Postnuptial agreements are more closely associated with having the potential to have been coerced.
What Prenups and Postnups Can Do for You
Historically, prenuptial agreements have had a bad reputation and are often considered a legal loophole for the rich and famous, but times have changed, and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements have inched closer to standard. Ultimately, a well-constructed agreement (whether prenuptial or postnuptial) can fill all of the following roles:
- Addressing the matter of how your marital property will be divided in the event of divorce
- Identifying separate property
- Addressing the issue of alimony
- Expediting and turning down the heat on the divorce process (in the event of divorce)
Addressing the matter of inheritance, which can be especially important for second marriages in which either of you has a child or children from your first marriage
What Prenups and Postnups Cannot Do
While prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can be powerful legal tools, there are certain matters they cannot address, including:
- Child support (unless the terms exceed the state’s guidelines, such as including terms for the children’s college educations and beyond)
- Child custody arrangements (child custody is always based on the best interests of the children in the present and cannot be determined prior to the fact)
- Anything that is not legal, to begin with
Discuss Your Concerns with an Experienced Florida Divorce Attorney Today
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are useful legal devices that can help you protect your financial rights and streamline the process in the event of divorce, and the savvy Florida divorce attorneys at Costa & Associates have the legal insight and experience to help you assess your needs as they relate to either a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. To schedule your free consultation, please don’t wait to contact or call us at 305-827-0100 today.