Postnuptial Agreements For Florida Couples
Most people are familiar with the term prenuptial agreement. The term has been popularized in songs and movies, and this kind of agreement is usually expected in marriages where one or both spouses are independently wealthy. A prenuptial agreement is an agreement that is signed before the couple gets married, and outlines each person’s ownership of assets and what will happen in terms of asset distribution if the marriage ends. Sometimes during the marriage the couple may feel the need to create a similar document, even when they are not contemplating divorce. This is called a postnuptial agreement.
Florida law allows married spouses to waive rights that they are granted under the law by entering into a postnuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement can do several things for a couple, it can clearly set out the financial responsibilities of the couple, determine which debts are joint and which are separate, be used to waive claims to certain assets or retirement accounts, and even waive alimony in the event of a divorce. One spouse cannot force or pressure another to sign an agreement that gives up so many rights. There is also no requirement under the law that there be some sort of exchange that is legally known as consideration.
Like with prenuptial agreements, it is best if the spouses are transparent with each other and fully disclose all their financial holdings and assets before asking each other to waive a stake in these assets. No matter how much you trust each other and even if divorce is not a thought in entering into the agreement, it is always a good idea for each spouse to have their own attorney review the document before signing it. Even when the couple enters into the agreement to stop internal fighting about finances, each spouse should remember that the document can be considered legally binding and be enforced later on.
Before signing a postnuptial agreement, it is important for each spouse to consider what they are giving up by entering into the agreement. If one spouse earns less than the other, the lower earner has to decide whether giving up alimony in the event of a divorce is going to hurt him or her in the long run if the divorce happens. This is the same with retirement accounts and other assets.
If you and your spouse are considering entering into a postnuptial agreement to settle financial issues in your marriage, there are many other factors to consider. Think of how broad the agreement will be, and what rights will be waived in the agreement. Language that waives “all rights” may end up having unintended consequences, so be sure to know exactly what that means before agreeing to it.
Contact An Experienced Attorney
For more information on how we can help you decide if it is to your advantage to enter into a postnuptial agreement, and be fully aware of what you are giving up as you enter into the agreement, contact the experienced family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida.