Prenuptial agreements in divorce and beyond.

A prenuptial agreement or premarital agreement serves two major purposes. A document that you signed before you enter into a marriage, before you get married, that lays out certain rights and responsibilities that arise during the marriage. By law, once you become married, your spouse is entitled to certain rights. Those rights arise under the family law or divorce arena, and they arise in the estate/probate in death arena. Typically, a prenuptial agreement will have both spouses, usually, waive all of their rights in both divorce, those rights that arise because of the marriage, and in death.

So how does your prenuptial agreement play out in a divorce? Well, it’s going to depend entirely on the language of the prenuptial agreement. Is it even valid? There are certain requirements to have a valid prenuptial agreement. If it is valid, what does it say regarding the rights and the waiver of rights by the spouse? Now typically, it’s going to waive any claims for alimony or spousal support and also help preserve and segregate any non-marital property. Property that one spouse has coming into the marriage that perhaps has increased in value. Oftentimes, the increase in value can be considered a marital asset under Florida law and a prenuptial agreement can say specifically that if there’s an increase in value of my non-marital property, for example, that that increase is not marital and therefore the other spouse has no claim to it. There’s a bunch of different ways that a prenuptial agreement can interplay with a divorce. Oftentimes, having one does help streamline the divorce process because everyone’s rights, if done properly, are well laid out in the agreement.