St. Petersburg Florida Family Law (Marital Agreements)
by St. Petersburg/Florida Family Law Attorney on 02/10/16
As a St. Petersburg Family law attorney, practicing in the area of Family Law, I have come to learn there are a plethora of areas one must be knowledgeable about in order to provide competent services to your client. Whether it be alimony, child support, divorce, paternity or any other family law matter, it is important to choose someone who is up on current law, as it changes often. In this post, I will focus on marital agreements (Pre-marital) specifically. Looking for a St. Petersburg divorce attorney or St. Petersburg divorce lawyer when seeking assistance with drafting these documents is key to have it done correctly.
Pre-marital agreements [Fla. Stat. 61.079]
between prospective spouses, other than contracts to marry, are generally valid. The parties to a premarital agreement may contract with respect to spousal support, as well as matters relating to property. However, if a provision of a premarital agreement modifies or eliminates spousal support and this causes one party to be eligible for public assistance program at the time of separation or marital dissolution, a court may require the other party to provide support to the extent necessary to avoid that eligibility. In addition, a premarital agreement may not adversely affect the right of a child to support or authoritatively determine custody.
Statute of Frauds: Premarital agreements fall within the Statute of Frauds and must be in writing and signed by both parties.
Marriage is consideration: Premarital agreements, like all contracts, require consideration to be valid. Entry into the marriage is sufficient consideration to support a premarital agreement. A premarital agreement becomes effective upon marriage of the parties.
Amendment, Revocation or Abandonment: After marriage, the agreement may be amended, revoked, or abandoned only by a written agreement signed by the parties. The amended agreement, revocation, or abandonment is enforceable without consideration.
Attorneys' Fees to Prevailing Party: Premarital agreement provisions awarding attorneys' fees and costs to the prevailing party in litigation regarding the validity and enforceability of a premarital agreement are enforceable. The purpose of a "prevailing party clause" is to indemnify the party who relied on the agreement and constitute a disincentive to one who may frivolously challenge it. Such clauses do not implicate the state's interest in ensuring that each spouse supports the other during the marriage.
As a St. Petersburg divorce lawyer, whose primary practice involves family law, I can help you draft an agreement like this. Hiring competent counsel is essential to avoid any costly mistakes. Please feel free to give us a call, for your free, no-obligation consultation regarding a pre-marital agreement, or any family law issue you may have. As your Family law attorney, I promise I will not only give you competent advice, but I will be honest with you in my assessment of your legal situation.