Can I Get a Pre-nuptial Agreement After I’m Already Married?
When it comes to getting married, there is a whole lot to plan for. However, so much focus is put on planning a wedding, as well as all the events surrounding the wedding, that it’s not uncommon for other important things to fall by the wayside. One of those things is a pre-nuptial agreement. Whether it was due to the awkward nature of discussing it, or just an accidental slip of the mind, the Florida prenuptial agreement is many times forgotten.
What Exactly is a Pre-nuptial Agreement?
This is a written agreement made by two people before getting married. The agreement is more than just the distribution of money in the event of a failed marriage. It also pertains to who owns what in regard to pre-marital assets as well. The main goal is to protect pre-marital individual property in the event of a divorce in a fair and consensual manner.
So, Can We Get a Pre-nuptial Agreement After the Wedding?
When a newly married client who is experiencing marital problems comes to meet with a Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice, Florida family law attorney Matthew Z Martell, he or she sometimes wants to know if they can still get a Florida prenuptial agreement. The quick answer is no. Once you are officially married, you are unable to get a prenuptial agreement due to the before-the-marriage nature of this type of written agreement. However, that does not mean you are at a complete loss. While a Florida prenuptial agreement is no longer an option, a postnuptial agreement is still an option.
What is a Post-nuptial Agreement?
On the surface, a postnuptial agreement and a prenuptial agreement are similar. The main idea behind both is the same; to protect a spouse’s pre-marital assets in the event of divorce or even death. A family law attorney near you in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice, Florida such as Matthew Z. Martell, Esq. can help you with the details. However, please be advised that post-nuptial agreements are very rare and it is a very niche practice area.
What is the Difference Between a Pre-nuptial Agreement and a Post-nuptial Agreement?
The main difference is how the court scrutinizes the agreement in marriage-ending situations. When a prenuptial agreement is put executed, the two parties are not joined in marriage yet, so their properties and assets are still separate. Once the marriage takes place, however, they are automatically considered to be joint properties and joint assets. The court will also have to decide if, or what parts of, the postnuptial agreement is enforceable looking primarily at the circumstances surrounding when and how it was executed and what was disclosed financially.
Should I get a Post-nuptial Agreement?
Due to the stickier nature of trying to negotiate a postnuptial agreement, family attorneys near you in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice, FL are professionals that you would want to look into hiring you are considering trying to negotiate a postnuptial agreement. If you are newlyweds, or if have been married for years, there are financial resources that need to be protected that you likely have not even considered. While the goal upon wedding day is to ultimately stay married, it is always best to have something in place just-in-case things go wrong. Divorce is one of the most devastating events a person can go through. Some pre-planning with a divorce attorney near you can only be beneficial in the end.
This can also come in handy if it is done in conjunction with estate planning when you have married someone with children from another marriage and/or have children from another marriage yourself. Having a conversation where you can cover financial assets, property, and even what part of the estate you want your spouse vs. your children from a prior marriage to get upon death is a good way to start to put the proposed division of assets on paper. Just like a divorce, death is also quite traumatic. The last thing you want is to have is your adult children from a prior marriage and your current spouse at odds in court over what you have left behind.
I’ve Been Married for 20 years. Could I Still Get a Post-nuptial Agreement?
Yes, you still can, but again these agreements tend to be extremely rare in actual life in Sarasota, Bradenton, and Venice, Florida based upon our experience. However, do not leave the future to chance if you are experiencing marital problems but not yet at the point of serious discussion about a divorce. While you may have missed the boat on getting a pre-nuptial agreement, a post-nuptial agreement attorney can in theory help you and your spouse come together in unity over the how your assets, properties, and liabilities should be divided in a postnuptial agreement. Please be advised that post-nuptial agreements are very rare. Attorney Matthew Martell does not draft post-nuptial agreements, but litigates to enforce them, or alternatively to break them, in divorces on the rare occasion that they do come up in a divorce in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, or Venice, Florida. Please contact the Law Offices of Matthew Z. Martell, P.A. at (941) 556-7020 if you are serious about hiring us for a divorce which involves a post-nuptial agreement.