Postnuptial Agreements in Florida
Many people are familiar with prenuptial agreements, yet far fewer are aware that you can also sign a postnuptial agreement. As the name implies, this type of agreement is created after a marriage; though, despite that fact, it has much the same legal effect as does a prenuptial agreement.
Postnuptial agreements can be very valuable to some couples. Indeed, in certain situations, a well crafted postnuptial agreement may even save a marriage. Here, our experienced Orlando marital agreements lawyer discusses three things you need to know about postnuptial agreements in Florida.
Florida Postnuptial Agreements: Three Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What the Benefits of a Postnuptial Agreement?
The benefits of postnuptial agreements are quite similar to the benefits of prenuptial agreements. In the most unromantic, straightforward terms, a postnup is simply a contract that can be used to formalize certain wishes and intentions of the parties. For example, some of the most common issues that are addressed in a postnuptial agreement include:
- How assets should be divided in the case of a divorce;
- Which spouse is responsible for certain debts;
- Child custody rights in case of a divorce; and
- How to address certain issues (property division, child custody, etc.) should one spouse pass away.
What Should I Do Before Signing a Postnup?
Never sign a postnuptial agreement unless you have had it thoroughly reviewed by an experienced attorney. If you have been presented with a postnup by your spouse, it is a best practice to hire your own attorney who can review the document for you. Do not rely solely on a lawyer hired by your spouse.
The bottom line: You should not sign anything that is not in your best interests. You have no legal obligation to sign any postnuptial agreement at all. Do not let your spouse pressure you into signing an agreement that you do not believe is in your best interests. If the proposed postnup is asking you to make certain concessions, it is only fair that equivalent concessions are made by your spouse that are in your favor.
Will a Florida Court Uphold My Postnuptial Agreement?
As long as they are legally valid, Florida courts will uphold postnups. If you are interested in obtaining a postnup, you should speak to an attorney who can help you draft an agreement that will conform to state law, so that it can be upheld by the courts. A sloppy agreement risks being thrown out, either partially or entirely. Under Florida law, a valid postnup meet the following four requirements:
- It must be in writing;
- It should be voluntarily signed by each party;
- It should be signed with informed consent by each party; and
- It must be reasonably ‘fair’.
While Florida courts want to uphold voluntarily bargained-for agreements, it will not enforce postnups that violate the aforementioned requirements.
Get Family Law Help Now
A postnuptial agreement is an important, complex legal document. Before you sign, please be sure to speak to the experienced family law team at the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A. From our office in Orlando, we proudly represent communities throughout Central Florida.