Common Postnuptial Agreement Mistakes
Signing a postnuptial agreement is one of the best ways that couples who are already married can safeguard their futures in the event of divorce or death. Unfortunately, failing to comply with certain requirements when it comes to drafting a postnuptial agreement can lead to the entire contract being thrown out, forcing the parties to enter new settlement negotiations or to litigate the issues in court. This can cost everyone involved a significant amount of time and money, making it especially important for those who are thinking about drafting their own postnuptial agreement to retain an experienced prenuptial and postnuptial agreement attorney who can ensure that their contract is drafted properly and is completely enforceable.
Using Ambiguous Language
Entering into postnuptial agreements has become increasingly common among Florida couples who are looking to safeguard their financial futures by determining how assets will be distributed in the event of divorce. Unfortunately, even couples who go to great lengths to negotiate a settlement could have their agreement thrown out if it isn’t drafted in compliance with state standards. For instance, one of the most common mistakes made by couples entering into postnuptial agreements is the use of ambiguous language. When legal terms are left open to interpretation, one or both of the parties could end up losing assets that they were intended to retain. If a couple used phrases such long-term and reasonable, for example, the court would have a hard time enforcing the agreement. For this reason, it is important to define exactly what is intended when drafting a postnuptial agreement.
When one or both spouses have debt, it is critical to include an indemnification clause when drafting a postnuptial agreement. Indemnifications protect one spouse from the debt of the other, whether current or future, so failing to include them in a postnuptial agreement could end up causing one spouse to become liable for the other spouse’s debts in the event of divorce or death.
Many couples fail to address this issue, especially those who have no debt when entering into the agreement and so aren’t contemplating future debts at all. By ensuring that at least a standard indemnification clause is in their agreement, couples can protect themselves from problems that could arise in the future. This is an even more important step for those who are aware that debt-related problems already exist for one or both of the spouses.
Failing to Establish Tax Protocol
Another important stipulation that is often overlooked in postnuptial agreements is what type of tax protocol will be in place during the marriage. For instance, couples should make sure that they establish whether they will be filing jointly or separately, as well as how refunds and debts will be divided upon dissolution of the marriage.
Contact an Experienced Fort Lauderdale Attorney Today
To speak with a dedicated and knowledgeable prenuptial and postnuptial attorney about the advantages of drafting your own postnuptial agreement, please call Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale at 954-945-7591 today or send us an online message.