So, you’ve signed a prenuptial agreement …. What next?

By Ky Koch, B.C.S., Board Certified Specialist in Marital and Family Law, Partner, OLDER LUNDY KOCH & MARTINO

The negotiation, and drafting, of a Prenuptial Agreement is always quite complex. The emotionality of it – negotiating your divorce while planning a wedding – is always uncomfortable. Once the Agreement has been signed, what happens next?

Other than the obvious – the joy of your wedding, the reception, celebrating with friends and family –  the next steps are important. They include:

1.         Save it. Put it in a safe deposit box. Save it to a digital file. You may need it in 15 years. Do not rely on your lawyer to save it. That lawyer may retire or otherwise be unavailable in the event of your divorce.

2.         Consult it. From time to time, it is important to refresh your memory regarding the terms and conditions of the Agreement. How you make future investments and financial decisions will almost certainly be addressed in your Prenuptial Agreement. It is easy to run afoul of what has been negotiated. Certainly, you will want to live your life unimpeded by the constraints of a Prenuptial Agreement. However, you also do not want to make errant, and often very simple, mistakes that dramatically impact the result in a divorce.

3.         Build the Walls. Setting up brand new accounts on the date of your marriage is a very wise decision. Dedicating those accounts for the receipt of, exclusively, non-marital money (inherited, from a Trust distribution, gifts from a third party, liquidation of non-marital accounts, etc.) could be very important. At a minimum, these strategies can favorably influence your position in the event of divorce.

4.         Pay Attention. No one enters into a marriage thinking, or hoping, that it fails. Dedicating yourself to a successful marriage should be your priority. Looking over your shoulder at a Prenuptial Agreement is not conducive to a happy and trustful marriage.

5.         Sunset Provision. On occasion, Prenuptial Agreements will contain a “sunset provision.”  That is a date on which certain provisions or all of the Prenuptial Agreement “sunsets” and renders those provisions or the entire Agreement meaningless. Being aware of these is, obviously, important.

6.         Deadlines. Often, Prenuptial Agreements will contain dates upon which benefits payable under the Prenuptial Agreement increase or decrease. Hundreds of thousands of dollars can hang in the balance by missing a deadline imposed under a Prenuptial Agreement.

No one wants to live their lives constrained and ruled by the terms of a Prenuptial Agreement. However, having spent the time, energy and money on drafting a valid and enforceable Prenuptial Agreement, paying attention to what you have negotiated only makes good sense.

Ky Koch

Ky Koch, Esq., B.C.S. is a Board-Certified Expert in Marital and Family Law by the Florida Bar. He has devoted his practice to marital and family law and represented parties in both litigated and collaborative settings. He has received many distinctions throughout his legal career including consistently being named to the Florida Super Lawyers® annual list, the Best Lawyers® annual list and has recently been named as Best Lawyers® Lawyer of the Year, again, for 2024. To learn more about Ky or to schedule a consultation, visit https://olderlundylaw.com/ky-koch/ or call 813-254-8998

OLDER LUNDY KOCH & MARTINO is a multi-specialty law firm with five offices in the Tampa Bay area. Regardless of the issue, OLKM attorneys have the skills and interdisciplinary expertise to consistently deliver extraordinary service and results, whether it’s business or personal. To learn more visit https://olderlundylaw.com/

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