If you’re planning on getting married, it’s easy to focus on the excitement of planning a wedding and starting your lives together. It’s important to keep in mind that getting married also has significant financial ramifications. If you, your spouse, or both of you are bringing significant assets into the marriage or simply want to clarify how your assets will be divided in the event of a divorce, entering into a prenuptial agreement is a good idea. In fact, you can enter into such an agreement even if you are already married – although in this case, it will be called a postnuptial agreement instead.
The Hache Law Firm offers a Collaborative Marriage Planning option that may be suitable for your family if you want a creative, tailored process focused on maintaining and improving relationships and protecting your future.
What Are Prenuptial Agreements?
Prenuptial agreements are contracts made between prospective spouses before marriage. A prenuptial agreement defines the parties’ property, debt, alimony, and spousal support rights. Prenuptial agreements save both spouses a lot of time, money, and heartache since they spell out what the couple wants in the event of divorce.
Attorneys can represent only one party in the drafting of a prenuptial agreement. Both parties will be required to exchange financial details and records. It would be best to begin drafting/negotiating your prenuptial agreement at least six months before your wedding. Importantly, there are certain things that prenuptial (and postnuptial) agreements cannot address, most notably child custody arrangements in the event of a divorce.
What Is Collaborative Marriage Planning?
When contemplating marriage, most people do not want to consider planning for a divorce. Collaborative marriage planning is an innovative approach that the Hache Law Firm brings to Coral Gables, Miami-Dade County, & Broward County for people who want to focus on making their marriage last rather than planning for divorce. In both cases, our Law Firm is specialized in divorce, mediation law and child custody cases, focusing in the best outcome for you and your children.
Collaborative marriage planning emphasizes married life itself rather than the dissolution of the couple’s marriage. Providing a private framework for handling disputes fosters transparency and full disclosure of monetary and emotional information between the soon-to-be spouses.
Collaborative lawyers represent each party and assist them in reaching an agreement. A Collaborative lawyer does not attempt to “win” by hurting the other party during negotiations; instead, each attorney focuses on their client’s interests and develops options that meet the needs of both parties.
It is common for clients to tiptoe around difficult issues when getting married to avoid offending their partner. A neutral facilitator, typically a mental health expert, facilitates these difficult conversations in collaborative marriage planning. During the meetings, the neutral facilitator assures that difficult issues are examined, that both parties are heard, and that all discussion remains productive and respectful. Furthermore, the neutral facilitator will teach clients conflict resolution skills to help promote a long and fruitful marriage.
The parties must disclose full financial details when developing a prenuptial agreement, whether by traditional means or using collaborative marriage planning. A traditional prenuptial agreement might be found invalid by a divorce judge if one or both parties were unaware of the other’s finances when signing it.
Financial disclosure is crucial to collaborative marriage planning since it provides the basis for those challenging conversations about how fiancés will handle their finances as a couple.
For these reasons, neutral financial professionals, usually collaboratively trained accountants or financial planners, are retained in collaborative marriage planning. This financial professional can assist clients in reviewing and understanding documents (such as checking and savings account statements, retirement statements, investment portfolios, tax returns, real estate deeds, etc.).
Depending on the client’s needs, the financial professional may assist with tax, business formation, retirement, and investment planning. The financial professional can even assist the soon-to-be spouses in preparing a household budget. Additionally, the financial professional will discuss balancing interdependence and financial independence during married life and whether the clients will want an individual or joint account.
Collaborative premarital agreements can serve the same goal as traditional prenuptial agreements, addressing subjects such as spousal support and property division in the event of divorce. Nonetheless, this will be a by-product of the collaborative marriage planning process rather than a primary goal.
A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, except that it is prepared and implemented during the marriage rather than before it. A postnuptial agreement may be created when the parties come into substantial assets or debts and wish to define how these assets and debts will be dealt with during or after the marriage (in the event of divorce).
In Florida, there is no concept of a “Legal Separation,” so postnuptial agreements can be drafted to help parties specify their rights during a trial separation. Postnuptial agreements can not only discuss assets and debt division and alimony/spousal maintenance, but they can also establish a parenting plan and support for children as part of actions unrelated to divorce.
The Hache Law Firm recommends collaborative marriage planning for people planning on getting married, and we highly suggest it for spouses who seek a Postnuptial Agreement.
Contact a Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements Lawyer Serving Coral Gables, Miami-Dade County, & Broward County
Attorneys provide legal guidance and advice to each spouse throughout the collaborative process, while neutral professionals assist the team in identifying creative solutions. Collaborative practice professionals help you reach an agreement that works for both parties. For more information, contact the Hache Law Firm today.