All About Prenuptial Agreements
Can they be set aside?
A prenuptial agreement, sometimes referred to as a premarital agreement, is a written contract between two persons planning to be married. It must be entered into voluntarily on the part of both parties, always in writing, signed by both parties, witnessed, and notarized. These conditions must be met if the prenuptial agreement is to be upheld in the courtroom. Additionally, a prenuptial agreement can be set aside if it can be proven either party has lied or failed to give full financial disclosure at the time of signing. If one of the parties does not understand or speak English or have had fair opportunity to legal counsel the court may find the prenuptial agreement unacceptable and disregard it. It is almost always wise to have a competent family law attorney like Grant Gisondo PA assist when drawing up a prenuptial agreement.
There are many reasons a couple may feel a prenuptial agreement is right for them. Usually there are important assets, which after marriage would become marital assets that each feel they wish to retain no matter what happens to their marriage. Florida is an equitable distribution state so assets considered marital assets would be divided fairly according to state guidelines as deemed fit by the judge. It is possible for couples to work out equitable distribution during mediation though many times mediation is not a successful resolution for their dissolution of marriage and a judge will decide the final outcome. If there are children form a former marriage there may be a need to be sure, in case of death or divorce, these children will not be disinherited by the stepparent and they will retain what is fair from their natural or adoptive parent, Possible alimony amounts may also be a consideration though this may be unwise as time often changes incomes both up and down and if an amount is preset it can’t be changed and could then be difficult for either party. This is particularly true if the couple decides to waive alimony altogether. It is important to note that in the state of Florida, the right not to ask for temporary alimony or attorney fees cannot be included in a prenuptial agreement nor can parental timesharing or child support be waived.
Prenuptial agreements are becoming more popular as the divorce rate in the United States hovers near 50% and even higher when it is a second or third marriage. Couples are often only too aware of what can happen to a marriage they hoped would be forever and the frequent resulting loss of treasured assets and means of support. As people get older they usually get wiser and a well drawn up prenuptial agreement can help alleviate some concerns for the future.
As mentioned above, it is vitally important to have a prenuptial agreement properly documented, signed, witnessed, and notarized if the court is to accept it. Attorney Gisondo, who practices in West Palm Beach and serves Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, and Hillsborough counties is experienced in working with persons desiring a prenuptial agreement. He can prepare and write a proper document that when witnessed, signed, and notarized, will stand up in court. To make an appointment to meet with him in person for a free, initial, in-office consultation, call (561) 530-4568. He will gladly answer your questions and explain how he can help.