So, let’s talk about a subject that is related to real marriage. The hard stuff. The prep work that often goes unsaid, but it so necessary! First up in this real marriage advice series is an overview of Pre & Post Nuptial Agreements!
I want to thank Jacksonville, FL attorney, Amber Hilterbran of Edwards & Edwards Law for putting this together for me!
“An Overview of Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements
What is it?
A pre or post-nuptial agreement is a written “agreement between two prospective spouses in contemplation of marriage.” Florida Statutes 61.079
What is the purpose?
A pre/post-nuptial agreement protects the rights and obligations of both parties with respect to property (personal or real). They also provide for what will occur upon divorce for issues relating to division of property, debt, and/or alimony.
What is the difference between a pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreement?
Honestly, nothing. A pre-nuptial agreement is made before the marriage and a post-nuptial agreement is made during the marriage.
What are the requirements for a valid pre/post-nuptial agreement?
- The agreement must be in writing
- The agreement must be signed by both parties
- The agreement must be executed voluntarily
- Both parties must receive fair and reasonable disclosure of the other’s property and financial obligations, such as income, assets, and liabilities
- The agreement must not be influenced by fraud, duress, or coercion
What can a pre/post-nuptial include?
- Division, responsibility, and control of real property, personal property, assets, and/or liabilities acquired during the marriage
- Designation of each spouse’s separate property
- Disposition of property in the event of death or divorce
- Spousal support (alimony)
- Making of a will and/or trust
- Life insurance rights
- Choice of law governing agreement
- Any other matter, including personal rights and obligations, not violating public policy or a criminal law
What can a pre/post-nuptial agreement not include?
- Any provision that violates public policy or criminal law
- A pre-determination or waiver of child support
Can a pre/post-nuptial agreement be amended or revoked?
Yes, a pre/post-nuptial may be amended or revoked upon written agreement by both parties.
Is a pre/post-nuptial agreement right for me?
There are many reasons you may want a pre/post-nuptial agreement. Pre/post-nuptial agreements are no longer just a tool for the very wealthy to protect their assets from a divorce, more and more couples are using these agreements to bring certainty and predictability to their future. Pre/post-nuptials allow each party to understand the other’s financial situation and financial futures, they can protect spouse’s from each other’s debts as well as any children born to a prior marriage or relationship, and they help alleviate any conflict or arguments if parties ever divorce.
Do I need an attorney to handle a pre/post-nuptial?
Ideally, each party to a pre/post-nuptial agreement should have the advice of an experienced family law attorney, as the issues and requirements can become very complex. Having assistance with such an agreement allows both parties to have a full understanding of the agreements and any ramifications of such agreement. It also lessens the probability that the agreement will be held unenforceable later on, if challenged.”
I hope this sheds some light on this topic for you! If you haven’t considered a pre or post nuptial agreement, now you have all the information you need to determine if you should consider one! And if you have considered it, perhaps this has added a new dimension of decision for you. Either way, I’m certain that your relationship will benefit from whatever decision you make. Just remember, you are a team and together you are stronger. This is a joint decision and keeping the lines of communication open is one of the keys to success!