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Sarasota Pre and Postnuptial Attorneys

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Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are pre-or post-marriage contracts that outline certain prearranged financial rights and obligations. Although some people may see these agreements as “setting a marriage up for failure,” they can be quite beneficial in allowing couples to determine their financial destiny in the unfortunate case that a marriage was to end in divorce.
Two people enter into the prenuptial agreement (also called a premarital agreement) prior to their marriage; it spells out how property will be divided in the event of a divorce.
A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement but is prepared after the couple has married. Additionally, a postnuptial agreement can be used as an amendment to an already existing prenup to protect a couple’s separate property or property acquired after the marriage.

Marital Property vs. Separate Property

State law in Florida defines marital property or marital assets as any property or assets that both spouses acquire—either together or independently—during the time of the marriage.  These marital assets can include retirement benefits, stocks, insurance plans, and other forms of assets. So even if one spouse acquires these assets independently, they are considered marital property.
Separate property consists of any assets or property acquired before the marriage or acquired by inheritance.

Who Can Benefit From Prenuptial Agreements?

When you think of a prenuptial agreement, you may think they are only beneficial for the ultra-wealthy. However, many people can benefit from creating a prenuptial agreement (or even a postnuptial agreement if they are already married).
You should consider a prenuptial agreement if you:
  • Want to protect assets that you have acquired prior to the marriage
  • Have children from a previous relationship and want to protect their inheritance
  • Have a business that you would like to protect and keep separate from marital assets

Prenuptial Agreements: Protecting Your Assets

If you are considering getting married in the Sarasota-Manatee area, you may be worried about protecting the assets that you and your family have worked for. This is especially true in areas like ours, where many people have retired and want to remarry but are worried about how their marriage may affect the financial security of their adult children.

Generally, a properly prepared prenuptial or postnuptial agreement will be upheld in Florida. This means it is very important to retain a competent attorney who can properly prepare an agreement for clients seeking prenuptial agreements. After the agreement is complete, your family law attorney should ensure that you understand how to keep your assets separate.

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements usually set forth at minimum:
  1. Alimony – whether a party can be entitled to it and if so, at what amount
  2. Equitable Distribution – or how the marital property and assets will be divided.

What can prenuptial agreements cover?

Prenuptial agreements can cover several things that may come up during divorce proceedings. They can help couples define:
  • How the couple will manage and control property during the marriage and how they will divide the property in the event of a divorce
  • How retirement plans or pensions will be divided in the event of a legal separation
  • Whether or not life insurance proceeds will go to the surviving spouse
  • Whether one spouse will pay alimony or spousal support, and how much support will be paid
You should note that a prenuptial agreement cannot determine child support or child custody.

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