PRENUPTIAL AND ANTENUPTIAL AGREEMENTS
In 2007, Florida adopted the “Uniform Premarital Agreement Act”. Here at Jonathan S. Root, P.A., we are intricately familiar with the requirements and provisions thereof and the case law pertaining to prenuptial (premarital) agreements. A prenuptial agreement is a contract between you and your soon to be spouse which if valid can control various issues between you and your fiancé after you are married including, but not necessarily limited to, provisions for support during the marriage, provisions for property ownership during the marriage, provisions for support and property division in the event of a dissolution or annulment of your marriage, provisions for death benefits in the event one of you dies during your marriage, and potentially issues regarding any children. However, with regard to children, that which the prenuptial agreement provides would be consideration for the court in your divorce or similar type proceeding but will not necessarily be binding on the court as the court is always required to do what is in the best interests of the child(ren), which may or may not be in accord with that provided in the agreement.
If you are contemplating the prenuptial agreement (or antenuptial agreement), you should start the process as soon as possible and sufficiently prior to the date of your marriage. It is not uncommon for the impecunious spouse who signed the prenuptial agreement to “attack” and seek to invalidate the prenuptial agreement in the eventual dissolution of marriage proceeding. Although there are numerous factors to consider in such an attack, some of the common claims include (a) lack of full financial disclosure by the pecunious spouse (i.e., you are required to disclose your assets and the reasonable values thereof, liabilities and the amounts thereof, income, and net worth so that the impecunious spouse is cognizant of what he or she may be waiving in the prenuptial agreement, and (b) that the agreement was “sprung on” the impecunious spouse too close to the contemplated date of marriage so that the impecunious spouse did not have sufficient time within which to read, review, go over the proposed prenuptial agreement with an attorney, and have sufficient time within which to reflect upon the terms and provisions of the proposed prenuptial agreement. Although there is no golden rule or specific amount of time, generally springing a prenuptial agreement on a soon to be spouse one or two days before the wedding is not a good idea, but providing the soon to be spouse with two or more weeks in advance should under most circumstances be sufficient. We at Jonathan S. Root, P.A. are familiar with all of the facts and circumstances the case law looks to and can discuss all of those with you to help ensure that a valid prenuptial agreement will in fact be signed.