Making And Breaking Premarital Agreements In Port St. Lucie
Aside from infidelity, money is the most common source of marital conflict that leads to divorce. Fundamentally, some people are savers and some people are spenders. There is nothing inherently wrong with either approach, which may be why these types of people are so incompatible.
In this light, a premarital agreement is much more than divorce insurance. Such a pact might actually makes your marriage much stronger. When a couple makes complex financial decisions in advance, money is out of the picture altogether. These issues never have a chance to take root.
Furthermore, if additional marital disputes arise, an amended premarital agreement may be just a phone call away. Most couples rightly assume that if they talked out their issues once before with an attorney, they can do so once more. Once again, it’s problem solved.
What Port St. Lucie Premarital Agreements Can and Cannot Do
Many people use premarital agreements for classification and division purposes. These pacts can clearly label property items as marital or non-marital. That’s very important, especially in long marriages. Commingling is often an issue in these relationships. Assume Wife uses a wedding gift from her parents (her non-marital property) to fix up a rent house that her husband owner before the marriage (his non-marital property). Depending on additional facts, in a future divorce proceeding, a St. Lucie County judge could say the house is Husband’s property, Wife’s property, or marital property. A premarital agreement bypasses this conundrum.
These agreements can also divide property. That’s not just limited to fixed assets like the aforementioned rent house. That also includes liquid assets, like cash and retirement accounts. Furthermore, premarital agreements may also limit, or in some cases even eliminate, spousal support payments.
If the unthinkable happens and the couple splits up, these issues are expensive and time-consuming to litigate. A premarital agreement simplifies the process both financially and emotionally.
There are benefits beyond property distribution. When a couple divorces, the children of that marriage generally have no inheritance rights from the non-residential parent. Many times, the parties wish a different result. That’s particularly true if a family business is involved. A premarital agreement, especially when coupled with wills and other executory documents, can make your wishes clear.
Breaking Premarital Agreements in Port St. Lucie
Florida law has a strong presumption in favor of spousal agreements. Generally, family law judges prefer couples to work out things for themselves. Nevertheless, no contract is unbreakable. There are basically two ways to successfully overturn a premarital agreement:
- Involuntary: At some point, pressure to sign crosses the line and becomes coercion. Other agreements are involuntary because one spouse withheld material information from the other spouse, and the challenging spouse had no other way to obtain this information. The rules are complex but the answer is simple. If both spouses had separate counsel at all time, judges will almost always conclude that the agreement was voluntary.
- Unconscionable: First, there is a difference between “uneven” and “unconscionable.” Second, the agreement must have been unconscionable when it was made. Stock options are a good example. These options are often practically worthless one day and then incredibly valuable the next day.
Most premarital agreements contain severability clauses. So for example, if a judge finds one property division component was involuntary, the remainder of the agreement, including any other property division sections, remains intact.
Reach Out to Dedicated Lawyers
A premarital agreement puts your marriage on a strong foundation and streamlines the divorce process later. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Port St. Lucie, contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. Convenient payment plans are available.