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Pre-nuptial Agreements


Gainesville Pre-nuptial Agreements Attorney

Gainesville Pre-nuptial Agreements Attorney Karen S. Yochim, of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A., represents individuals contemplating marriage in establishing their legal rights prior to entering into legal matrimony. A prenuptial agreement, also called a premarital or ante-nuptial agreement, is a contractual agreement entered into by two individuals who intend to marry one another, which outlines the respective rights of each spouse, should the marriage end in divorce.

Nearly every state has laws specifying the procedural requirements, limitations, and enforceability of prenuptial agreements. Under Florida law, The Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, as enumerated in Chapter 61 of Florida Statutes, applies to the parties to prenuptial agreements.

For most couples, marriage is blissful time signifying a union between two individuals. As a couple plans for their future together, the topic of entering into a premarital agreement may arise. Prenuptial agreements can often be a touchy subject for couples. While we want to share our lives with our potential spouse, we all know that life can be full of unexpected surprises. Marriages can and do fail. In fact, statistics have shown us that more than 50% of marriages fail. Divorces, particularly contested ones, can be costly, in addition to being emotionally exhausting.

Although some may view prenuptial agreements as a moral contradiction to union of marriage, these agreements can often serve as a benefit to both parties through simplifying the dissolution process, in the event the marriage fails. Prenuptial agreements can also be beneficial to certain couples with unique circumstances, such as where either party has children from a previous marriage. Also, where one party has excessive debts, a premarital agreement can provide the other party with protection against future liability. In other scenarios, excessive income or assets form the basis for a party’s desire to enter into a prenuptial agreement, such as those involving the owner of a business, the beneficiary of an inheritance, or the recipient of proceeds extending from civil litigation.

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Whether you are seeking, or your future spouse has requested that you enter into, a prenuptial agreement, it is important to protect your legal rights by consulting with an attorney. There are several reasons why a family law attorney is not only beneficial, but often a necessary component to the contractual process. For example, proper drafting of the agreement is crucial to the formation of the contract. Florida law defines the parameters of what types of content may be included within a prenuptial agreement. A listing of appropriate contents is provided within Fla. Stat. § 61.079(4)(a).

Under Florida’s Premarital Agreement Act, there are also guidelines regarding the manner in which the contracting parties actually enter into the agreement. The most essential formality of a valid prenuptial agreement is that the agreement be in writing, and signed by both parties. However, just because the agreement was signed by both parties, does not necessarily make the agreement valid and enforceable. Both parties must voluntarily enter into the contract, and the agreement must not be the product of fraud, duress, coercion, or overreaching.

Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, both parties must have adequate knowledge regarding the property and financial obligations of the other party. The parties to a prenuptial agreement have the duty to provide each other with fair and reasonable disclosure of all property, income and assets, as well as liabilities and obligations. Because full and proper disclosure is critical to effective contract formation, it is imperative that both parties consult with a legal professional prior to entering into a prenuptial agreement.