You have likely heard of prenuptial agreements. A couple uses these legal documents to outline what will happen if they ever divorce. However, they are not the only option for creating an enforceable contract valid if you file for divorce.
Another option is the postnuptial agreement, which is like prenuptial agreements, but these are created and used after you are married or before you separate. While you may not think you will ever need these documents, they do offer several benefits. At Griffin Family Law, PLLC, you can work with a family law attorney who knows the ins and outs of postnuptial agreements and how to create a legally binding document.
Here you can also learn more about what you can and can’t put in a postnuptial agreement.
The Legal Requirements for Florida Postnuptial Agreements
According to Florida law, a postnuptial agreement must fulfill specific standards before it is enforceable. An example is that both parties must make a fair and full disclosure of their liabilities, income, and assets. When you do this, it’s easier to agree.
Some of the other legal requirements for postnuptial agreements include:
- Details of the agreement include mutual promises regarding each person’s rights and property dispersion.
- The document must be signed with two witnesses present if the agreement contains any testamentary provisions.
- Waive specific rights to retirement accounts or alimony.
- Include each party’s intent regarding the status of the property (including marital or separate).
Each spouse must have their own family law attorney when creating the document. At Griffin Family Law, PLLC, I offer these legal services for those creating a postnuptial agreement.
Other Considerations to Remember When Creating a Postnuptial Agreement
Other requirements must also be met to ensure your postnuptial agreement is legal. One example is that neither party can be threatened or coerced into signing the agreement. If someone forces or overreaches in a postnuptial agreement, it won’t be considered valid if there is evidence of coercion. In some cases, it will be voided by the court, or it could be modified. The same concept applies to situations where one party misled, tricked, or made misrepresentations to convince the other party to sign.
Like any other contract, when you create a postnuptial agreement, it needs to consider the quid pro quo to be valid. This means that both parties must give up something to receive something.
Prohibited Language in Florida Postnuptial Agreements
If you decide to create a postnuptial agreement, there is some language you cannot use. If you use this prohibited language, the entire agreement may be invalid.
One spouse cannot waive rights to receive child support, custody, or visitation. An example is that spouses are not allowed to waive their rights to the things above; however, they can include custody arrangements. Postnuptial agreements cannot be used to prevent one parent from seeing a child or limit visitation rights.
The provisions listed in a postnuptial agreement must be fair for both people. If a court later determines an unreasonable provision, it may invalidate the agreement. Usually, an agreement is deemed unfair if one spouse is excluded from any wealth disbursement after divorce or death.
As mentioned above, the court can invalidate the entire document if fraud is suspected or if one party does not sign voluntarily. However, if there’s only an issue with one provision, judges may eliminate that portion of the document while leaving the rest valid.
Steps to Take if Your Spouse Wants a Postnuptial Agreement
In virtually every situation, spouses will see the benefits of postnuptial agreements. However, if your spouse requests you to sign this agreement, move forward carefully.
If enough consideration isn’t given to the financial aspects, like alimony, issues could arise. Also, other terms must be considered. It’s smart to contact a family law attorney to discuss the terms of a postnuptial agreement before signing it. Doing this will ensure both parties understand the agreement and what would happen if they divorced. An example is marriage assets like life insurance, which require additional considerations.
While it is imperative that you follow Florida law when creating these documents, seeking legal advice from a family law attorney will help ensure the divorce goes as smoothly as possible.
Sometimes, it’s easier to resolve issues with a postnuptial agreement when it is being created and before you sign. After both parties have signed, it is challenging to convince a judge to change it. Use these tips to ensure you take the right steps when signing a postnuptial agreement.
Read All Terms Carefully
Having a postnuptial agreement can be beneficial. They will help settle divorce disputes before they occur. This can benefit both parties. However, you should never take your spouse’s word regarding the terms of the agreement. Take time to review the document and all the terms in it. If you aren’t sure about how something is worded, request help. At Griffin Family Law, PLLC, I have years of experience helping couples draft postnuptial agreements that keep the best interest of both parties in mind.
Check the Wording of the Postnuptial Agreement
Just because your partner requested a postnuptial agreement doesn’t mean you don’t have a say in its contents. Just like any other contract, both parties have a voice. If you don’t agree with the terms in the agreement, negotiate to have it changed. Working with a family law attorney will help you with this process and help ensure both parties are satisfied with the agreement.
Contact a Florida Family Law Attorney
Hiring an attorney will ensure that you have someone to explain what postnuptial agreements do. You can receive legal advice from an attorney and ensure there are no consequences to the agreement. Additionally, an attorney will help ensure the postnuptial agreement protects their client’s rights.
Don’t Sign Anything Until You Are Comfortable
Postnuptial agreements are designed to protect both parties’ rights. Florida has strict laws in place regarding these agreements, so it is a good idea to consult with a lawyer regarding what they say. If your marriage does end in divorce, the agreement is a binding contract, meaning what it says goes. While this is true, both spouses must agree to the terms for the document to be valid.
Contact At Griffin Family Law, PLLC for Help with a Postnuptial Agreement
If you or your spouse wants to create a postnuptial agreement, contact At Griffin Family Law, PLLC, for assistance. I have provided legal services for years and can help you reach an agreement about the terms of the document. I will also look out for your best interests while ensuring it is fair for both spouses. The first step is to call my office to set up an initial meeting. I’d love to discuss your family law needs.
You need to ensure you follow the law to keep your postnuptial agreement valid. This will protect you and your spouse if you divorce in the future.