Pacheco Perez P.A.

How can a postnuptial agreement personally help me?

The vast majority of people who decide to marry give little thought to the fact that they may experience a divorce in the future. However, the reality is that circumstances tend to change over time. Depending on the length of your marriage you may discover things about your spouse years after your wedding which might cause you to worry about how a divorce will affect you. For example, over time you may learn that your spouse is terrible at managing finances. Or perhaps you will discover that your spouse has a proclivity for abusing alcohol or drugs.

However, these agreements doesn't always have to revolve around negative issues. That's because a postnuptial agreement is essentially a contract that spouses form after their marriage which provides a roadmap for individual property and asset ownership. These agreements also provide guidance on how those items should be distributed in case a spouse dies or the couple divorces. In fact, many estate planners consider postnuptial agreements as part of an overall strategy to plan against such future contingencies.

You should know that Florida is considered an "equitable distribution" state if you are currently considering whether a postnuptial agreement is right for you. This means that courts will attempt to divide marital assets equally between both spouses as much as reasonably possible. Your postnuptial agreement can change that to include any distribution which both parties agree to.

It's also important for you to know that you will need an attorney to help ensure that your postnuptial agreement is valid and enforceable under Florida law. The use of an attorney in this process is critical because laws regarding divorce and division of assets and property are subject to change over time. Retaining a Florida family law attorney with experience in postnuptial agreements could potentially help spouses with old postnuptial agreements avoid those legal pitfalls.

Source: Palm Beach Daily News, "Legal vows: Married couples entering postnuptial agreements," Dian Vujovich, June 27, 2015

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