Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are tools used by Floridians to protect their assets either before or after entering into a marriage. Among other things, these tools allow a couple to agree on how some or all of their property will be divided in case of a divorce. Because the agreements are typically created when the couple is on good terms, they are not the product of a fight.
While anyone can create a prenuptial agreement, these documents are typically used by those who have large assets or expect to acquire them during the marriage. While prenuptials are typically thought of as a way to avoid marrying for money, they also have a more positive side, allowing people to guarantee their future spouse larger alimony payments than would be granted by a family court judge.
One recent Florida divorce case, however, devolved into a fight about the validity of prenuptial agreements in cases where one spouse earns a large amount of money over the course of the marriage. In this case, a real estate developer acquired a large amount of property during the course of a 22-year marriage. When it ended, his wife wanted a fair share even though the prenuptial agreement specified otherwise.
The Florida Supreme Court ruled that a prenuptial agreement is a contract and must be upheld even when the results may seem unfair. Lower courts had been split about the enforceability of prenuptials that create a lopsided result. This ruling unites Florida’s courts in recognizing the legitimacy of all marital agreements that are entered into freely. This means that parties entering into such an agreement can expect the courts to honor their bargains.
If you are considering creating a prenuptial agreement or you are contemplating divorce but are wondering how your prenuptial agreement would affect the proceedings, contact the Tampa-area divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of K. Dean Kantaras, P.A. to learn more.