Sometimes couples reach a point in their marriage where they regret not having a prenuptial agreement. A Florida postnuptial agreement can remedy this feeling by ensuring the security of your property and financial assets in the event of divorce. A postnuptial agreement is a written contract between married spouses that outlines the division of property, assets, finances, etc. in the event of a divorce. In the State of Florida, a postnuptial agreement can address what will happen in the event of a divorce, how finances and division of property will be handled, and even certain rights if one spouse predeceases the other. For a postnuptial agreement to be valid in Florida, both parties must fully disclose their assets to one another.
A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement in many ways, including the fact that a postnuptial agreement cannot outline child support. A postnuptial agreement, however, can be drawn up at any point in a marriage whereas a prenuptial agreement is entered into only prior to entering a marriage. Couples can customize additional elements in their postnuptial agreement as they see fit. The key purpose of the agreement is to provide financial protection to both spouses. The following are what is generally covered in a postnuptial agreement:
Division of property: The postnuptial agreement will pre-designate where all property will end up. Property means real estate, businesses, income, retirements, savings or debts. In the State of Florida, equitable distribution is completed in compliance with Florida Statute 61.075. See Florida Statute 61.075. With a postnuptial agreement, the couple will be able to specify who gets what property in the event of a divorce, rather than depending on the factors outlined in 61.075 or a judge. This gives both individuals control over their property and what may happen in the event of a divorce.
Alimony: Alimony in the State of Florida is decided in accordance with the factors laid out in Florida Statute 61.08. See Florida Statute 61.08. Alimony payments and which spouse is to receive/pay can also be laid out in a postnuptial agreement. The couple is able to decide what would work best for their situation.
Repayment of gifts: Both parties can decide in a postnuptial agreement how they want to divide gifts received from third parties or from each other and/or decide who will get gifts received either as a couple or individually throughout the marriage. If the couple received a gift together as a couple, they could decide in a postnuptial agreement how to divide that gift rather than automatically have it be split evenly between the two of them.
Marital debts: A marital debt is a debt that has occurred during a marriage by one or both spouses, regardless of whose name it is in, before the date of separation. In order for the debt to be a marital debt, the debt is to be used to benefit both parties. Examples of this include credit card bills, student loans, mortgage payments, medical bills, etc. As long as the debt is a marital debt, the couple can decide how the debt is paid in the postnuptial agreement.
After the couple decides on what to include in the agreement, the next step is verification. To verify a postnuptial agreement, it must be in writing and signed by both parties of the marriage and may be required to be signed in the presence of a notary. Both spouses of the marriage must have agreed to the making and signing of the agreement without threats, manipulation, or coercion. The agreement must also reflect that both parties have completely and honestly disclosed their financials with one another. Like a prenuptial agreement, this is a legally binding contract, so it is very important to seek legal advice from an experienced Family Law attorney prior to drafting or signing a postnuptial agreement.
If you or someone you know is seeking advice on a postnuptial agreement or family law matter, you can speak with one of our family law attorneys at the Yaffa Family Law Group at 561-276-3880 or visit our website at www.yaffafamilylawgroup.com to schedule your confidential complimentary consultation.