Premarital Agreements- Painful But Worth A Look

The purpose of this blog is to quickly discuss the merits of a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement.  The recent popularity of these agreements is evidenced both by their numbers and the official codification of their enforceability through the creation of a recent Florida Statute Section 61.079 confirming their enforceability.  An obvious justification for their occasional use is the simple marriage statistic wherein experts confirm that the typical marriage in today’s society has a 50% chance of survival.  Think of the last time that you attended a wedding, what were you thinking about the bride and groom’s future?

Certain marital circumstances increase the justification of a premarital agreement often making the painful choice obvious.  These include:

1. The marriage of older participants with their own separate retirement plan;

2.  The marriage between participants with their own children from prior marriages;

3. The marriage between two participants with significant differences in net worth and/or incomes;

4.  The marriage between participants where one or both own a small business; and

5.  A marriage between participants where one or the other has previously been through a painful and expensive divorce.

Other factors contribute to the prenuptial agreement equation.  Our court systems are overburdened and more expensive to navigate.  Net worths and incomes are more complex than ever.  Typically there is less liquid cash available to fund both sides of a divorce case.  Remember, lawyers are better at division than creation.  Lastly, it is now more important than ever that people focus on funding their retirement rather than funding a divorce.

One last consideration should not be overlooked when considering whether a prenuptial contract is right for your situation.  A prenup agreement can always be modified or terminated by the agreement of both parties.  In addition, prenuptials can include “sunset” provisions wherein they become null and void after a certain period of time.  Statistically speaking, marriages that go bad, particularly second and third marriages, often fail during the first few years.  Accordingly, protection during the first few years of a marriage can be very important and easily attained through the existence of a prenuptial contract.

The subject of prenuptials or a prenup agreement is often painful to address, particularly at a very happy and emotional time.  However, their costs, both financial and emotional, should be weighed against the reasonable need for a prenuptial agreement, particularly in those cases where prenuptials can be of the most benefit. However, with the codification of enforcement of prenuptial agreements, including prenup agreements in Tampa, pursuant to Florida Statute Section 61.079, lawmakers are recognizing their importance in marital relationships now more than ever.

Tampa family law attorney S. David Anton, Esquire of the Anton Legal Group has over 30 years of expertise in complex financial marital issues such as prenuptial agreements, complex/high net worth divorces, alimony and other facets of the family law court system.  If you would like to discuss your prenuptial agreement, please contact us 813-443-5249today.