Drafting Comprehensive Marital Agreements

To the average consumer, prenuptial agreements — or prenups — may seem to welcome a failed marriage, civil union or domestic partnership. After all, if you love your intended, why invite a potentially adversarial confrontation during what should be one of the happiest times of your life by deciding to divide assets and legally protect each individual's right and obligations in the event of a divorce?

The truth is — and the realist knows — that half of all marriages will end in divorce. Planning for tomorrow is key, no matter what tomorrow may hold.

The prenup is finding favor among younger couples seeking to avoid at least some areas of contention and fees should the marriage result in divorce litigation later on. It also can help protect estates one or both parties may inherit with the passing of parents or other family members. For many reasons, it's advisable that couples begin prenuptial negotiations well in advance of the wedding day.

A postnuptial agreement is a similar agreement, only entered into after the marriage. Need for a postnuptial agreement may arise, for example, if one spouse enters into a business agreement outside the marriage, and the business partners insist on a postnuptial agreement with the spouse. In both, details covered include issues related to ownership and division of premarital and postmarital assets.

Both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements deal with property distribution, finances and the division of assets, or support and alimony in the event of divorce, break-up or the death of one of the spouses. Both are more common in second marriages, especially when more significant assets are brought to the relationship. Both are considered binding contracts under Florida law.

Neither a pre- or postnuptial agreement can resolve issues related to child support or time-sharing, all of which must be determined by the court at the time of divorce.

Though they open the potential for argument, in the end, the hope is that a well-crafted and -drafted prenuptial agreement will be executed and never looked at again.

The Law Offices of Barry I. Finkel, P.A., has overseen negotiations and the drafting of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements for a variety of clients. Our divorce and family law firm is focused on serving the needs of the entire family. Established in Fort Lauderdale / Broward County, Florida, in 1992, the firm's lawyers provide trusted matrimonial counsel to clients facing turbulent times and unsettling situations. For a consultation or to schedule an appointment, please call our firm.

In Fort Lauderdale, we can be reached at 954-776-1414. In Boca Raton, we can be reached at 561-910-1870.