Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

What are Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements?

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements (also known as “Marital Agreements”) are more than just legal contracts made before or during marriage. They are your shield of security, ensuring that your assets and rights are protected. A prenuptial agreement happens before the wedding, while a postnuptial agreement happens after the wedding, both serving as a safety net for your future.

These Marital Agreements cover what happens if a divorce or death occurs. They can:

  • Decide what property belongs to both spouses during the marriage and what belongs to each individual.
  • Determine spousal support terms.
  • Determine if one spouse will financially support the other in case of divorce.
  • Determine property rights if one spouse dies.
  • Dictate privacy rules such as not posting about divorce on social media.

However, Marital Agreements usually can’t decide on child support. That will be determined by the court according to state laws.

Effective Estate Planning Often Includes Marital Agreements

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements can be crucial tools in estate planning. Estate Planning documents alone cannot override spousal rights. Using Marital Agreements, couples can plan how to divide their marital assets, non-marital assets, and debts in case of divorce or death.

While Marital Agreements are powerful tools, their effectiveness relies on proper drafting. It’s crucial to work with a local attorney who can ensure the agreement complies with your state’s estate laws. An estate planning attorney, for example, can expertly draft the agreements as part of your comprehensive estate plan, giving you peace of mind.

Here’s a breakdown of how these agreements function as practical estate planning tools:


1. Clarity and Certainty

Marital Agreements outline how to deal with money and property in the event of the death of one or both spouses. This clarity is invaluable in estate planning, as it reduces the potential for disputes among surviving family members. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can help maintain family harmony by explicitly stating who gets what. Additionally, they help meet the wishes of the deceased.


2. Protection of Assets

In Florida, you can use Marital Agreements to designate certain assets as non-marital. As a result, those assets are not subject to division upon death or divorce. This is particularly important for individuals entering a marriage with significant assets or children from previous relationships. Such agreements ensure that specific assets pass to chosen heirs rather than facing division under state law.


3. Support for Estate Planning Goals

You can align prenuptial and postnuptial agreements with other estate planning tools like wills and trusts. For instance, Marital Agreements can specify that certain assets will enter a trust upon a spouse’s death. That ensures the surviving spouse receives income while preserving the principal for children from a previous relationship. Florida law permits these types of stipulations, making Marital Agreements valuable in complex family situations.


4. Fulfillment of Legal Requirements

Florida law requires that Marital Agreements be in writing. To be most effective, Marital Agreements should be witnessed and notarized. Having each party represented by their attorney during the drafting is strongly advisable. After all, you went to great length to document your agreement, now we want it to stand up in court.

Who Should Get a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement?

Marital Agreements help spouses define responsibilities before complex issues arise. Some couples may not know that a marital agreement can strengthen their relationship. This agreement outlines financial arrangements in case the marriage ends.

If you’re worried about property matters in your marriage, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can ease your worries and uncertainty. Contact an experienced estate attorney. Our estate attorneys in Fort Lauderdale specialize in prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. They also support clients in Boca Raton, Miami, and West Palm Beach.

Should You Consider a Prenuptial Agreement?

There are various reasons why couples might consider signing a legal agreement before or during marriage. Some of these reasons might include:

  • If one spouse has much more money or real estate property than the other.
  • If there’s a substantial difference in income between spouses.
  • If one or both spouses have children from previous relationships.
  • If one spouse has significant debt.
  • If one spouse owns a business or has interests in one. 
  • If the estate plan doesn’t include the spouse.
  • If one spouse plans to stay home to care for the household and children

Many people might feel like making these agreements isn’t romantic and presumes that the marriage will fail. However, planning and safeguarding your financial security is responsible. This can give you peace of mind that your wealth or business will be safe, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your life.

Equally important, Marital Agreements can help spouses maintain a civil relationship after a divorce, which is essential, especially if you have children together. Ultimately, it is wise to discuss the benefits of a Marital Agreement with an experienced attorney. They offer legal advice on whether it’s suitable for your situation.

Contact our Fort Lauderdale Estate Planning Attorneys

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are complex, requiring the support of an experienced professional. Our estate attorneys can help negotiate, draft, and ensure compliance with Florida laws.

Reach out to SJF Law Group at 954-580-3690 or complete our contact form. We take pride in responding to inquiries promptly. Our estate attorneys help clients in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach County, FL.


About The Firm

Since 2011, SJF Law Group has been helping clients protect their families with estate planning, probate & trust administration. We pride ourselves on combining the personalized service and attention of a boutique firm, with the talent and legal acumen of a large firm.

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