Florida Women's Law Group
When To Use A Postnuptial AgreementAuthor: Staff
Date: May 18 2021
Engaged couples have longed used prenuptial agreements to negotiate personal assets and finances before entering marriage. What about after the ‘I dos?’ It is becoming more common for couples to seek a legal contract after they are married that details how assets and debts will be divided should they divorce or in death. These contracts are referred to as postnuptial agreements.
A postnuptial agreement can be sought at any time in the marriage, from the very beginning or after many years of being married. The purpose is like that of a prenup and addresses division of assets, property and debts as well as alimony and spousal support. In Florida, child custody and child support cannot be decided upon in a prenup or a postnup.
There are many reasons why a couple may decide to get a postnup and it does not mean that they think the marriage is headed for divorce. It is a legally enforceable contract that lays out terms in case of a divorce or if one spouse were to pass away unexpectantly. In some cases, a couple may choose to have a postnup because they ran out of time before the wedding and were unable to execute a prenup. Other reasons for postnuptial agreement:
- Inheritance or Significant Financial Change – If one spouse is expecting an inheritance or a significant employment change that will alter their living status, they may want to agree on who is entitled to what should there be a divorce. While an inheritance is considered personal property, if it is co-mingled then it becomes community property. An example would be that one spouse inherits $1 million dollars and over the course of the marriage it grows to $4 million the $3 million gain would belong to both spouses. A postnup can detail how it would be divided, if at all.
- Children from Another Relationship – If one or both spouses bring children into a marriage, they may want to ensure that they are provided for and that assets or an inheritance is passed onto them.
- One Spouse Becomes a Stay-at-Home Parent – If one parent stays home to raise children their income potential is significantly affected. A postnup can provide financial reassurance that they will be provided for in the event of a divorce.
- Addiction, Legal Trouble or Financial Irresponsibility – If a spouse has an addiction, they can make unwise financial decisions that lead to significant debt. Or if one encounters legal troubles, it can have a significant impact on joint finances. A postnup can address how debts incurred from their misconduct will be handled.
- Marriage has Struggled – There are times when a marriage suffers and the couple separates or files for divorce but ultimately reconciles. Another situation is if one partner has been unfaithful. A postnuptial agreement could be put in place as an incentive to keep the marriage intact. It is like an insurance policy that outlines the financial outcome if the behavior were to continue and acts as an intention to save the marriage.
There are many instances where a postnuptial agreement is beneficial. It is important to consult with a family law attorney that can address your specific needs and desired outcomes. The laws pertaining to postnups vary by state and an attorney can help you construct an agreement that is enforceable in court.
Determining what to include in your postnuptial agreement may be stressful and it is better to start earlier rather than later. Our attorneys have the experience needed to guide you on your journey through marriage bliss. We can negotiate the terms of your agreement so that you and your partner feel comfortable.
Call the attorneys of Florida Women’s Law Group today, we have the skills, experience and resources needed to provide you with compassionate legal service.