A postnuptial agreement is much like a prenuptial agreement, but it is drafted after a couple has married. A properly written postnuptial agreement allows you to set forth certain terms of a divorce, should one occur. Adopting a well-executed postnuptial agreement will help ensure you keep assets that should remain yours if your marriage fails while helping both of you avoid costly litigation and strife over property division, alimony, and other contentious issues.
An experienced Tampa postnuptial agreement attorney with Florida Law Advisers, P.A., can help you draft an agreement that will hold up to judicial scrutiny if it is ever contested in Florida courts. You and your spouse can craft a postnuptial agreement at any time after you have married. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with a family law attorney to discuss what a postnuptial agreement can do for you.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Postnuptial Agreement in Florida?
Florida law allows married couples to enter into legally binding postnuptial agreements that allow them to modify certain provisions of Florida divorce law to fit their unique circumstances. However, you must carefully follow all Florida legal requirements for a post-nuptial agreement to be binding.
Technically, a lawyer is not required to draft a legally binding postnuptial agreement in Florida. However, it is recommended that each party have experienced family law attorneys to ensure that the elements of the agreement are fair to each of you and written in a manner that is acceptable under Florida Law.
Florida’s postnuptial agreement laws are complex and impose many requirements, which can be challenging to follow without the guidance of an experienced family law attorney. If the agreement is not fair to both parties, it can be challenged and potentially ruled invalid.
A Florida family law court has the authority to overturn an agreement if it is not properly executed. This will set your divorce proceedings back to square one — without the goodwill toward each other you had when you drafted your postnup.
What Can I Include in a Postnuptial Agreement?
A couple in Florida may draft a broad postnuptial agreement that covers several potential issues that may arise if the marriage is dissolved. Negotiating a post-nuptial agreement puts you in control of issues that could be contentious later, including:
- Who will take possession of certain assets in the event of a divorce? For example, this allows one party to ensure that they retain an inheritance, such as real property or ownership of a business, which might otherwise be sold or dissolved in a divorce with the proceeds divided.
- Who will be responsible for certain debts? The agreement may ensure the equal division of marital property as well as household debt and/or individual responsibility for student loans, business debt, or other personal debt.
- Whether spousal support will be paid by one party to the other, and how much and for how long. A spouse who has dropped out of the workforce to raise children can ensure that spousal support will make up for the years of earnings growth they gave up.
- Waivers of rights to spousal maintenance. Both parties may agree that neither will pay the other spousal support in the event of a future divorce.
- Penalties for infidelity. Some couples include a clause that specifies that if one spouse cheats on the other, he or she forfeits certain assets or rights in the event of a divorce.
- Estate planning. The couple might include provisions for how certain marital assets will be distributed to their children or other family members in the event of their death while married. This type of clause often applies to children from a former marriage or relationship to ensure they receive the inheritance they are due.
Requirements for a Valid Postnuptial Agreement in Florida
A postnuptial agreement is a legally binding contract. Both parties must have a clear understanding of its primary purposes and voluntarily agree to enter it. It must be set down in writing and signed by both spouses in the marriage. Oral postnuptial agreements are not valid. As legal contracts, the agreements must also provide valid consideration. That means each party must give up or receive something as a result of the agreement.
In addition, both parties must provide an accurate and full disclosure of financial information and their financial situation. The two parties must give each other the opportunity to review the proposed agreement before signing it. Failing to disclose assets or hiding assets or debt provides grounds for the other party to have the post-nuptial agreement invalidated.
How long after marriage can you get a postnuptial agreement? You may execute a post-nuptial agreement at any time after being married. It must be entered voluntarily for it to be deemed valid. Since both parties must agree to it, an agreement should be reached before marital issues become an obstacle to entering an agreement voluntarily.
A postnuptial agreement that is blatantly one-sided or a bad deal to the other spouse will not be enforceable.
Contact Our Postnuptial Agreement Attorneys in Tampa
It is important to work with family law attorneys experienced with Florida law when drafting prenuptial agreements or post-nuptial agreements. A family law attorney with Florida Law Advisers, P.A., can ensure your interests are protected in the negotiation process and help you draft an agreement that will hold up in court if it is ever contested.
The lawyers of Florida Law Advisers, P.A., in Tampa, are experienced with negotiating postnuptial agreements that protect our client’s rights and satisfy rigorous judicial scrutiny. If you are considering a nuptial agreement and have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us to schedule a free consultation with a Tampa divorce lawyer at our law firm.