Pre and Post-Nuptial Agreements

There are different Florida Statutes that apply to pre and post-nuptial agreements, but many of the same concepts apply to both. Some of the key concepts/factors are: full and accurate financial disclosure prior to entering into the agreement; the agreement not being the "product of" fraud, duress or overreaching; and each side having the agreement reviewed by their own counsel, before signing it. A related factor is how long a period of time there is between the date a pre-nuptial agreement is signed and when the parties get married. More time, means there is more time for review, and the courts tend to look at this as meaning there is less potential for pressure.

Pre- and post nuptial agreements can address what happens to property in the event of death and divorce; what happens if the parties want to separate; and also the parties' agreement as to the amount of alimony in the event of a divorce. One important point to keep in mind is that under Florida law, the Judge is not required to follow the parties' agreement in a pre or post-nuptial agreement regarding the amount of "temporary support" - i.e. the amount of spousal support while the parties are separated or the case is pending. There are some important provisions to include in an agreement, however, related to this issue.

In preparing a pre or post-nuptial agreement, it is important that your attorney is thoroughly familiar with the family law and probate issues involved, and also is experienced drafting legal contracts. I find that my background in the past working in a tax/business practice including probate work, is a very helpful addition to the family law background when I'm preparing a pre-nuptial agreement. When preparing this kind of agreement it's important for the attorney to carefully and thoroughly protect your rights, but for the way the attorney handles the process to not itself create more conflict or acrimony.

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