Divorce & Family Law Column By:
Chadwick M. Layton, Esq.[i]
Harvey Waddell & Layton, P.A.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT
Prenuptial agreements (also known as premarital agreements) are no longer legal tools utilized primarily by the wealthy. Parties contemplating marriage in 2018 are rarely love struck 20 year olds.
The average age of first marriage in Florida for women is 28 and for men is 30. Parties in general are much more careful before marrying than previous generations. Whether or not this is a good thing or a bad thing is a topic that I am not qualified to discuss.
However, how this change effects divorce and prenuptial agreements is an area that I have the training and experience to discuss. Prenuptial agreements can serve several purposes. One of the main purposes is to provide for the defined distribution of assets in the event that a divorce ever takes place.
Florida law provides that the court will make an “equitable distribution” of the marital assets in the event divorce is filed. Prenuptial agreements allow the parties to enter into a binding contract before the marriage which may define certain assets and dictate whom will receive those assets if divorce is sought by either party. Where either party has ownership interest in a business prior to the marriage or substantial assets which they seek to shield from a divorce proceeding, prenuptial agreements are important and very effective.
A second purpose that prenuptial agreements serve is to address and limit the ability for either spouse to receive alimony if divorce occurs. As a divorce attorney, I have litigated many cases where alimony is the primary battle in the divorce. Whether alimony should be awarded at all, if so, for how long and at what amount. These questions are not easily answered. Experienced divorce attorneys can disagree as to the proper solution. Well written prenuptial agreements stop this legal battle before it ever starts.
Harvey, Waddell & Layton has been located in downtown Lake Worth for over 40 years. We continue to provide ethical divorce counsel to each of our clients with the goal of achieving a responsible divorce without litigation.
If you or a friend has questions about divorce or a family law matter, do not hesitate to call us to schedule an initial divorce consultation.
[i] Chadwick M. Layton is a partner and shareholder at Harvey Waddell & Layton, P.A., located in downtown Lake Worth, he is also a member of the Florida Bar Family Law Section and the Susan Greenberg Family Law American Inn of Court of the Palm Beaches, further information is available at www.LaytonLawOffices.com