Many couples enter a period in their marriage where they may regret not getting a prenuptial agreement for various reasons and they need peace of mind when the reality of marriage hits. Postnuptial agreements are a way to remedy this by ensuring the security of financial assets in the event of divorce. A postnuptial agreement is a written contract between two married spouses that outlines the division of assets and finances in the event of a divorce. Postnuptial agreements address infidelity, finances, division of property, household chores, etc. and similar to a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement is a contract involving the division of a couple’s assets.
What postnuptial agreements don’t address? Child support or custody issues.
These agreements can be drawn up at any point in a marriage and given a couple can utilize it to provide security and better plan their future, they’re increasing in popularity as it benefits both spouses.
Couples can customize additional elements in the contract as they see fit. The key purpose of the agreement is to provide financial protection to both parties. The following are what is generally covered in a postnuptial agreement:
Division of property: The agreement will pre-designate where property will end up, such as real estate, businesses, income, or debts. In most states, when a couple gets married, their assets are divided 50/50. With a postnuptial agreement, the couple will be able to specify who gets what property in the event of a divorce, rather than sticking with the 50/50 option. This gives the couple control and puts both individuals in the driver’s seat.
Alimony: Alimony payments can be laid out in a postnuptial agreement. The couple decides what would work best in case of separation depending on their circumstances.
Repayment of gifts: Both parties can go through gifts received either as a couple or individually throughout the marriage. If the couple received a gift together, they can decide 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 occurring during a marriage by one of both spouses before the date of separation. In order for it to be a marital debt, the debt must have been used to benefit both parties. Examples include: credit card bills , student loan payments, mortgage payments, medical bills, etc . As long as the debt is marital, the couple can decide how the debt is paid in the postnuptial agreement.
After the couple decides on what the agreement entails, the next step is verification. In order for a postnuptial agreement to be verified, it must be in writing and signed by both parties of the marriage. Both spouses must have agreed to the making and signing of the contract without threats, manipulation, or coercion. It also must reflect that both parties have completely and honestly disclosed their financials with one another. Like a prenuptial agreement, this is a legally binding contract.
Now may be a time you’re asking, “How do I know if this is right for me?” Every couple’s situation is different, but a postnuptial agreement is generally beneficial to both parties.
Depending on the circumstance an individual is in,, a postnuptial agreement may be the best avenue for providing financial security in the future. The most common cases where couples enter a postnuptial agreement are when one spouse owns a business, significant differences in income occur during the marriage, or one spouse has an affair.
But a couple can draw up a postnuptial agreement at any time with the right resources. There is no wrong time to consider it when entering a marriage. Figuring out how to divide finances and property in the event of a divorce can help resolve future issues. It can also save both parties money because a couple can avoid having to pay the legal fees of divorce lawyers.
In order to create the best contract for you, it’s important to understand all areas of a postnuptial agreement.There are three aspects of a postnuptial agreement and those are drafts, reviews, and disputes.
Drafting: When using a family lawyer to make a postnuptial agreement, many times a consultation will be needed to define the scope of work. The couple and lawyer will discuss what is to be covered in the agreement. The lawyer will then draft the agreement based on the couple’s needs before having the couple review it. The couple can then approve it or make any necessary changes. The cost of drafting a postnuptial agreement ranges from $500-$700.
Review: Sometimes couples simply need to review or adjust their current postnuptial agreement. This can be because they need something changed, assets need updated, information redacted, etc. The cost of reviewing the agreement with a lawyer is $300-$400.
Disputes: Agreements can be disputed in court if one party does not approve of or agree with something in the agreement. Previously outlined, this is a binding document that must meet certain requirements in order to be enforceable. If any of these requirements are not met, a court can rule that this agreement is not enforceable.
The amount of assets, opinions of family members, the state you live in, lawyer hours, and other varying factors go into the cost of making a postnuptial agreement. If a postnuptial agreement is something you’re interested in learning about, Yaffa Family Law can assist you.
Yaffa Family Law Group offers postnuptial agreement services with dedicated and experienced family lawyers. Located in the Boca Raton area, we provide Floridians with excellent legal care. All it takes is one phone call to book a complimentary consultation.