In Florida, marriage contracts have traditionally been divided into two separate categories: prenuptial agreements which are entered into by the parties prior to their marriage and postnuptial agreements which the parties enter into after they are married.  The common characteristics that these two forms of agreement share is that they are used to establish the ownership interests of specific assets, responsibility for specific obligations or debts and, spousal support should the parties divorce.

Prenuptial Agreements are most commonly employed when one of the parties has accumulated substantially more assets and net worth than the other party.  Keeping in mind that a prenuptial agreement is a form of contract, the parties are able to negotiate and agree upon prior to marriage what interest, if any, each spouse is to possess in a particular asset or particular group of assets belonging to the other spouse.  This is very important because Florida is an equitable distribution jurisdiction, which means that in the event the parties decide to divorce, each spouse owns an equal undivided interest in all of the assets and liabilities of the marital estate.

Therefore, in the absence of a prenuptial agreement that establishes by contract the assets and liabilities that are to be excluded from the marital estate, the act of getting married, by itself, could vest one spouse with an equal ownership interest in the assets of the other spouse that had been accumulated prior to the marriage, as such assets would be considered a part of the marital estate and thereby subject to equitable distribution by the Court.  The result could be that each spouse would exit the marriage with one half of all the assets that constituted the marital estate. A properly drafted prenuptial agreement that the parties agree to and execute prior to their marriage is a method of preventing a spouse from obtaining a disproportionate share of the other spouse’s assets and wealth acquired before the marriage.

At Daniel M. Copeland, Attorney, P.A., we have extensive knowledge and experience drafting prenuptial agreements that will shelter your assets from distribution to your spouse by the Court in the event that your marriage ends in divorce.

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Please note, all information contained herein is provided for general informational purposes only.  The information herein is not intended as legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Different factual scenarios may yield different results.  In addition, several other factors must be considered in each individual case, and those factors can only be ascertained by speaking directly with an attorney.

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