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When you contemplate getting married or divorced, it is a good idea to consult a knowledgeable Tampa Bay attorney for guidance on drafting a marital agreement. A marital agreement is a carefully written contract between two people who intend to get married or who are already married. The agreement states how important financial matters will be handled during a marriage or in the event of divorce or death.
The insight of an experienced attorney at the Law Offices of K. Dean Kantaras, P.A. can help make your marital agreement as comprehensive and fair as possible.
Benefits of Having a Marital Agreement
In a Florida divorce, state law controls spousal rights.
But you and your spouse can take control by entering into an official marital agreement to address:
- Property division and control in the event of dissolution or death
- Payment of debt incurred during the marriage
- Payment of living expenses
- Whether particular assets are individual or joint property
- Retirement assets
- Spousal support
It is common for couples to draw up an agreement if either spouse has children from a previous marriage or if there is a major difference between the financial resources of the parties.
Other reasons to draft a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement include:
- You currently have obligations such as taxes, alimony or child support
- You have parents who depend on you financially
- You own a business or have a professional practice
- You own property in other states that would consider your spouse a co-owner
What to Know About Postnuptial Agreements
A married couple may write a postnuptial agreement after experiencing significant financial change or after a period of conflict.
Some of the most common reasons for entering a postnuptial agreement include:
- Ensuring that certain property is declared separate
- Assigning rights and obligations to a spouse regarding assets and debt
- Protecting the assets of one spouse from the debts of the other
- Addressing estate planning concerns
- Settling terms such as child support, alimony, or custody in anticipation of a separation or divorce
It is important that postnuptial agreements be voluntary. Should a court find coercion, it may void the agreement. Under Florida law, should a postmarital agreement waive the rights of one spouse on the death of the other spouse, both spouses are required to make a full and fair disclosure of assets. Our skilled attorneys in Tampa Bay can help spouses determine the appropriateness of a postnuptial agreement given their circumstances and concerns.
What Is the Difference Between Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements?
Couples draft prenuptial agreements before they get married. Under Florida's Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, an agreement becomes effective as soon as the marriage takes place. Couples often consider drafting postmarital agreements if their circumstances change during the course of their marriage.
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It's important to have a qualified attorney negotiate and draft your prenuptial agreement to avoid a future challenge that could invalidate the agreement. If you or your spouse do not disclose all assets and liabilities and negotiate the document in good faith, a court may declare it unenforceable. As a board-certified attorney, K. Dean Kantaras can help you avoid such pitfalls and advise you on the best course for your unique situation.
Call Our Tampa Bay Family Law Team for a Consultation!
Contact an experienced and dependable Florida attorney for marital agreements!
If you have any doubts about drafting a marital agreement, it is critical that you seek advice from a lawyer who is well-versed in family law. K. Dean Kantaras is board-certified in marital and family law by the Florida Bar and provides valuable insight into the legal and practical implications of a marital agreement. With offices in Clearwater / Largo and Palm Harbor, we serve the Tampa & St. Petersburg area.
Contact us now to schedule a consultation with our experienced team.