For years, engaged couples in Florida and beyond have drafted and signed a prenuptial agreement in order to protect assets owned before marriage. In recent times, married couples have been adding a different type of legal contract to their estate planning efforts. This document is signed after the wedding day and is, therefore, called a “postnuptial” agreement.
When couples decide to enter into a legal contract after they are married, they are defining and securing ownership of assets between spouses in case of a future divorce or death. One does not have to have a prenuptial agreement in order to create a contract that is forged after the marriage. Each couple must decide whether one or both of these legal contracts would be a wise addition to their estate plan.
A potential future divorce is not always the main focus of this type of agreement. Business changes, family members who require long-term financial care and a change in family assets are among other reasons why some couples opt for a postnuptial contract during their marriages. With regard to divorce, such a contract can adjust the equitable asset distribution required by Florida state law.
Couples who choose to draft a postnuptial agreement will retain separate legal representation for each spouse. It is crucial that both spouses offer full disclosure in terms of finances. Certain criteria must be met before the agreement can be signed, and couples must make certain that Florida law is fully observed. Consultation with an experienced family law attorney would most likely be advisable for those who are attempting to discern whether this type of contract would prove to be a beneficial part of a couple’s estate planning efforts.
Source: palmbeachdailynews.com, “Legal vows: Married couples entering postnuptial agreements”, Dian Vujovich, June 27, 2015