Can I Get A Prenuptial Agreement If I Do Not Intend On Getting Married?
Although prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are contracts between two people who intend to get married or who are already married, that does not mean that couples who do not intend to get married cannot contract their own agreement to govern assets and other issues, such as support, concerning their relationship and living together. Under Florida state law, these contracts are known as domestic partnership agreements, and are specifically governed by a Florida City or County Code of Ordinances.
Even though Florida now allows same-sex marriage, it still also allows agreements between unmarried adults because there are those who do not want to enter into the legal contract of marriage. This is similar to individuals taking actions regarding estate planning and even laying out a plan to solve disputes in a particular way.
Domestic Partnership in Florida
Domestic partners are defined as two adults who are parties to a domestic partnership and meet the requisites as established pursuant to a Code of Ordinances. For example, in Broward County, both adults:
- Must be 18 or older;
- Must be competent to contract;
- Cannot be married or a domestic partner in another relationship;
- Cannot be related by blood;
- Must be domiciled in Broward county and/or subject to the provisions of the Broward County Domestic Partnership Act of 1999;
- Must consent to the domestic partnership (not by force, fraud, or duress);
- Must agree to be jointly responsible for each other’s basic food and shelter during the partnership; and
- Cannot have had a different domestic partner within the last 30 days.
Why Sign a Contract If I’m Not Married?
Having an agreement govern a relationship, even if it is not marriage, can assure certain justices. There have been examples where an unmarried couple has found themselves in a dispute similar to a married couple (for example, if one partner gives up their job to care for the other partner, or pays to put them through school or other career-oriented training, etc). These contracts can cover a multitude of similar issues between married and unmarried couples, including alimony, child support, child custody, bank accounts, and others.
What about Medical Decisions?
Unfortunately, unmarried partners do not typically have the right to make decisions regarding the health and life of their partners unless they have drafted a written document to this effect. This is usually in the form of a living will or legal designation of a health care surrogate.
The Law Office of Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A.
Any parties entering a domestic partnership need to be represented by an experienced attorney in order to receive assistance in negotiating said agreement. This is also helpful if the parties want to include any provisions for a collaborative process or mediation if disputes do come up, and they wish to work with the same attorneys in that instance.
Whether you are seeking guidance on prenuptial or domestic partnership agreements, divorce, child custody, or any related areas of family law, Sandra Bonfiglio is here to help you through the process. We are located in Fort Lauderdale and serve clients in Hollywood, Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Deerfield Beach, Dania, Pembroke Pines, Boca Raton, North Miami Beach, Opa Locka, Delray Beach, Miami, Hialeah, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County.