Drafting Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

Marriage can be a wonderful adventure even if you sometimes have to jump through hoops and hurdles. However, if you’re married or about to be married it’s important you make wise decisions. Marriage agreements such as prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can protect you if you decide to dissolve the marriage.

Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements secure your rights to certain properties, debts and sometimes child custody. While they’re similar, both agreements function differently. A prenuptial agreement is made before the marriage. It cannot be valid until you have a marriage license. Postnuptial agreements are drafted during the marriage. They’re typically used so both spouses are required to present all their assets to each other. 

Dissolving a marriage is usually the most emotional and stressful time of people’s lives. Having a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can ensure you have a smooth divorce process. If you or your partner are interested in drafting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it’s imperative you contact a skilled divorce attorney. 

Attorney for Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements in Fort Lauderdale, FL

We always envision ourselves with our spouse for the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. The 2010 U.S. Census Bureau found that Florida had the seventh highest divorce rate in the nation. Because of this, it’s important you protect yourself and your assets by drafting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement with an experienced attorney.

Find that attorney with Nisha E. Bacchus. She’s handled a wide range of complex family issues including postnuptial or prenuptial agreements. She can assist you through the postnuptial or prenuptial agreement process. Contact her today at (954) 500-5555 to schedule a case consultation.

Bacchus Law Firm accepts clients throughout the greater Broward County area Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Pompano Beach, Pembroke Pines, and Miramar.

Overview of Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreements 

What’s the Purpose of a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement?

Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements are a contract between spouses. The purpose of these contracts is to protect certain assets in the event you and your spouse decide to divorce. You may have been discouraged to draft a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement because many people believe your marriage is doomed if you do. However, this is a myth.

Many couples choose to create a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement because it creates an understanding between the two. A marital agreement is an important tool for couples who want to be prepared for the future. It’s not an indicator that your marriage is in jeopardy. 

Although, if you choose to divorce the process will be much easier for the both of you. Your precious assets will be protected, and you will be shielded from unwanted debt. Most importantly, the contract will have control over how your assets are distributed not the court. 

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What’s a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is created before the marriage. It’s an agreement between you and your future spouse about certain marital terms. A prenuptial agreement doesn’t only delegate your assets in case of a divorce. It’s also a way to plan for the future of your marriage such as implementing life insurance policies.

A prenuptial agreement governs the following aspects of a marriage: 

  • Assets and property owned by your spouse before the marriage;
  • Your assets and property before the marriage;
  • Assets and property acquired by both of you as a married couple;
  • Gives the rights to one person so they can make decisions affecting the interest in property such as deciding to lease or sell your house;
  • How assets are divided in case you’re legally separated or divorced;
  • A will or trust for you and your partner; and
  • Life insurance policies

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How to Draft a Prenuptial Agreement in Florida

You can draft and submit a prenuptial agreement if you do the following:

  • Have legal representation for both you and your partner;
  • Fully disclose your assets and financial obligations to each other; and
  • Negotiate the terms and how the prenuptial agreement will be executed well in advance to your wedding

It’s important to understand premarital agreements doesn’t dictate the terms of child custody or support. A prenuptial agreement must also be entered voluntarily by both parties. The court will not accept any marital agreements made by coercion, fraud or through force. If the court finds the contract wasn’t made in good faith, it’ll be considered void. 

The agreement must also not be considered unconscionable when it was executed. A prenuptial agreement is considered to be unconscionable if: 

  • Your spouse didn’t fairly disclose their debts and property to you;
  • You didn’t voluntarily waive the right to disclose the property or debt of your spouse;
  • Your spouse hid assets, or you were unaware of your spouse’s property and debt

Once you have set your prenuptial terms in writing you can file it with the court. Both you and your spouse will have a plan for your future, no matter what happens. It might seem strange to create a prenuptial agreement when you’re planning to devote your lives to one another, but it’s the best option. Your partner and you will be able to communicate effectively regarding your assets and neither of you will feel trapped in a marriage because fear of divorce.

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What’s a Postnuptial Agreement and How Do I Draft One?

A postnuptial agreement is similar to a premarital contract, but it’s during the marriage. Some choose to draft a postnuptial agreement because they’re about to divorce and they don’t want the court to divide their assets. It’s important to know a postnuptial agreement doesn’t necessarily mean you and your spouse are going to divorce.

Many couples already have a prenuptial agreement in order, but they want to update the terms. You can choose to draft a postnuptial agreement instead to add or detract terms and provisions of your prenup. No matter the circumstances, a postnuptial agreement can be extremely valuable.

Postnuptial contracts often address the same aspects in a prenuptial agreement. Some of these include the disclosure of property, life insurance policies, where property goes in the event of divorce and other relevant information. What separates a postnuptial agreement is that it can cover child support, child custody and time-sharing.

Similar to prenuptial agreements, a postnuptial agreement must be agreed by both parties. You and your spouse will need legal representation independently before moving forward. The contract must be made in good faith and not through coercion, fraud or force. It also cannot be considered unconscionable by the court.  

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What if My Spouse Wants Me to Sign a Postnuptial or Prenuptial Agreement?

If you are asked by your spouse to sign a marriage agreement, it’s important you do so carefully. It’s always a good idea to draft a postnup or prenup agreement, but it’s a big decision. Both prenups and postnup agreements are contracts so once they’re submitted it’s hard to alter them in court. Keep these tips in mind when you’re discussing a marriage agreement. 

  • Read the contract VERY carefully – You might want to just trust your partner and sign the agreement as quick as possible. This is not recommended among divorce attorneys. It’s imperative you read through the postnuptial or prenuptial agreement thoroughly. You may not agree with every term of your marriage agreement.
  • Make sure your terms are in the agreement – Your partner may be proposing the agreement, but both of you will be bound to it. Because of this, it’s important you have your terms outlined in your prenuptial or postnuptial contract. Make sure to voice any concerns before the agreement is filed with the court.
  • Consider hiring legal representation – The legal jargon and process associated with marriage agreements is complicated. An attorney can explain any foggy provisions in your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. They can also provide suggestions for aspects of the marriage you missed or provisions that should be omitted.
  • Do not sign the agreement until you’re ready – One of the most important tips is to not rush into a postnuptial or prenuptial agreement. It might seem urgent, but the words are binding unless you go to court. Make sure to check with friends or family to see if the agreement reflects your interests as well as your partner’s. Don’t sign any marriage contract unless you feel 100 percent confident about it.

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Additional Resources

Relationship Planning: Nuptial Agreements – Visit the official website for the Florida State Bar to read an article about nuptial agreements by Elaine M. Bucher. In the article you can learn more about how nuptial agreements work, waiving alimony or financial disclosure, and how signing a postnup or prenup will affect your taxes.

Prenuptial Laws in Florida – Visit the official website Online Sunshine, a collection of Florida state laws and legislation. Access the site to learn more about prenuptial agreements, what they’re composed of, how they’re enforced and more.

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Lawyer for Drafting Prenup and Postnups in Broward County, Florida

If you or your spouse are interested in drafting a prenup or postnup, it’s important you seek legal representation. You will need an attorney to assess your marriage agreement thoroughly. An attorney can also inform you throughout the process on what to do next.

Call Nisha E. Bacchus today for a skilled divorce attorney. She has practiced family law for years in Florida’s family courts. Ms. Bacchus understands that signing a prenuptial or postnuptial can be an overwhelming experience. That is why we want to assist you through quality legal service.

Contact Bacchus Law Firm now at (954) 500-5555 to schedule a case consultation. Ms. Bacchus represents clients throughout the Fort Lauderdale area including Pembroke Pines, Hollywood and Coral Springs.

This article was last updated on June 6, 2019.