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Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial Agreements


Prospective spouses often wish to protect themselves and their assets with a prenuptial agreement before marriage. These agreements often enable spouses to protect their assets and avoid a contested divorce.  With a prenuptial agreement, a prospective husband and wife can establish their property rights and responsibilities in the event of a separation, divorce, or death.  However, there are limitations as to what can be done in these agreements. For example, prenuptial agreements cannot eliminate child support obligations for either party.   

Properly drafted prenuptial agreements are legal and enforceable contracts in the state of Florida, if the agreement is entered into voluntarily after full financial disclosure.  The parties must have sufficient time to review the agreement and to seek legal advice. If proper procedures are not followed, a judge may choose to disregard the terms of the agreement.   
Prenuptial agreements do not just benefit wealthy individuals. Many people can benefit from prenuptial agreements, including those who have been married before or have children from a previous marriage, or those who own a family business, as well as individuals who have significant assets. 

Alimony is a future liability many prospective spouses seek to avoid by way of a prenuptial agreement. Florida law allows for a waiver of alimony in most circumstances. However, Florida adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act in 2007 which allows a court to disregard a waiver of alimony to the extent it causes the impecunious spouse (a spouse with no money) to be eligible for public assistance benefits.

At Rice Law Firm, our attorneys can explain the purpose of prenuptial agreements and draft an agreement that clearly specifies your objectives, including:

  • Waiver of alimony or fixing the amount of alimony based upon the years of marriage
  • Protection of assets and wealth acquired prior to marriage as well as protecting the increase in the value of those assets during the marriage
  • Protection of family businesses
  • Protection of professional practices
  • Protection from debts of the other spouse
  • Defining ownership of assets acquired or income earned during the marriage
  • Waiver or predetermination of spousal inheritance rights
  • Inclusion of a “prevailing party attorneys fee provision” to protect against a frivolous challenge to the validity of the agreement

We can also review and render legal advice on prenuptial agreements that have been drafted by the other prospective spouse’s attorney and presented to our clients for signing. For divorcing spouses who have entered into a prenuptial agreement, the attorneys at Rice will review the agreement and either attempt to enforce or contest its provisions, depending on the validity of its terms and the wishes of the client.

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