Sarasota Prenuptial Agreement Attorney
“What’s going to happen to my business and my retirement when I file for divorce?” “Will I get alimony?” “Will I owe alimony?” These are some of the most common questions we hear when consulting with divorce clients for the first time. More often than not, these questions are left to up to the Courts to decide.
If the parties have a valid prenuptial agreement, the answers can much more certain.
Why You Need a Prenup Agreement
Prenuptial agreements are an excellent way for parties to document their expectations and protect their interests in the event of a divorce. While it can be a sensitive subject, a well drafted prenuptial agreement will provide peace of mind and emotional security to both sides. The certainty of knowing what will happen in the event of a divorce is invaluable.
Often one party will own all, or part of a business. Another party may carry a large amount of assets or debt into the marriage. There may be issues with pending inheritance, or significant appreciation of pre-marital interests that need to be kept separate for the protection of both parties.
The language of the agreements can be complex, but the basic principals are easy to understand.
A Prenup Is a Contract
The simplest way to think about a prenuptial agreement is as a contract between the parties. Both sides agree to what will happen with respect to each other’s property, and any obligations, or expectations for alimony. Once these issues are decided, the parties commemorate their intent in writing, the agreement is signed, and the parties are bound and protected by the agreement in the event of a divorce.
The parties are then free to invest, pursue their careers, develop business relationships, retire, or otherwise make major life decisions with the confidence that even if their marriage doesn’t last, they can be secure that their assets and interests are protected.
The agreement can be flexible. The parties can arrange to have alimony increase with the duration of the marriage,they can choose to make decisions based on average income over a period of time, or they can choose to waive alimony altogether.
As usual, anything that sounds too good to be true usually is. Not every issue can be ironed out in the prenuptial agreement. Things like temporary alimony and attorney’s fees are still left up to the Courts. The good news is, that the permanent issues regarding asset distribution and long-term alimony obligations are well within the bounds of a well-drafted prenuptial agreement.
When drafting a prenuptial agreement, each party should be represented separately. You should choose your attorney carefully, and preferably both counsel for each side should have enough litigation experience to recognize the issues that are inherent to a dissolution of marriage both with, and without a valid prenuptial agreement.