In recent years, postnuptial agreements have become increasingly popular. These documents, unlike prenuptial agreements, are created after a couple enters into a marriage, although they do fulfill a similar function, in that they outline ownership of assets in instances of separation, divorce, or death. In fact, in many cases, postnuptial agreements also include provisions about dividing debts and how spousal or child support will be determined. To learn more about drafting your own postnuptial agreement, please contact an experienced divorce attorney who can assist you.
The Purpose of Postnuptial Agreements
Although it is a common misconception that postnuptial agreements are only necessary for couples who are having marital troubles or are considering divorce, the reality is that a variety of factors can prompt the creation of a postnuptial agreement, including a change in employment status, finances, or business or family relationships. Many postnuptial agreements, for example, are created after the birth of a child.
Because those who create postnuptial agreements are already married, Florida law requires the parties to provide full financial disclosure before the document will be deemed enforceable by the courts. Essentially, both parties must affirm that they have accurately and truthfully disclosed their complete financial situation, as this helps prevent the hiding of assets by one spouse. For a postnuptial agreement to be valid, it must also:
- Be in writing;
- Be signed by both parties; and
- Contain terms and provisions that are acceptable.
An agreement will be enforceable if it meets these standards, unless it was the result of fraud, coercion, overreaching, or duress. If a court finds that an agreement was the result of fraud or duress, the entire contract can be set aside or modified.
What do Postnuptial Agreements Cover?
Like prenuptial agreements, postnuptial contracts can cover a wide range of topics, including how property will be bought, used, sold, leased, or transferred upon the occurrence of certain events, such as divorce or separation. Most postnuptial agreements also include provisions related to alimony payments, or the rights and responsibilities with respect to the custody and support of children, as well as some or all of the following topics:
- Parenting plans;
- Equitable property division;
- Custody of pets;
- How remarriage or cohabitation will affect alimony payments;
- Insurance and retirement considerations;
- Rights of the parties in the event that one predeceases the other;
- Details about what will happen to a shared mortgage or its equity upon divorce;
- Who is responsible for which debts;
- Which assets are considered marital property and which qualify as separate assets; and
- The amount of funds set aside for a child’s college expenses.
These are not the only topics that a postnuptial agreement can cover, so if you are considering drafting your own postnuptial agreement, please contact our legal team today.
Call Today to Speak with an Experienced Divorce Attorney
Creating a postnuptial agreement that fits a family’s specific situation is complicated, making it extremely important for those who are considering creating this type of legal document to speak with an experienced lawyer. For help with your own agreement, please call dedicated Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591.