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A postnuptial agreement is very similar to a prenuptial agreement. The major distinction between the two is that a postnuptial agreement is entered into after a couple is married or has entered into a civil union. Postnuptial agreements are legal written agreements between both spouses that explain how financial assets and property will be divided if the marriage ends in divorce or separation.
There are a number of reasons why a couple might want to create and sign a postnuptial agreement. Such agreements are sometimes recommended by marriage counselors in troubled marriages to help relieve tension regarding money. A postnuptial agreement sets out how funds would be divided at the time of divorce, and having this set agreement can help couples move past financial worries.
Postnuptial agreements can also include stipulations regarding behavior in a relationship that could ease the minds of struggling couples. For example, postnups can include financial penalties if one spouse is unfaithful or overspends. However, stipulations regarding lifestyle choices, such as where vacations should be spent, cannot be included in a postnup.
Another reason to have a postnuptial agreement is if the financial situation of one or both spouses changes significantly during the marriage. If one spouse receives an inheritance, sells a business, benefits from a good investment, or otherwise experiences a significant increase or decrease in assets, a postnuptial agreement allows both spouses to lay out how to fairly divide those assets. Doing this can relieve tension in a marriage. Postnups can also be used by a couple that is headed toward divorce to agreeably settle matters of finance before the divorce proceedings begin. This makes the divorce process much faster and easier on each spouse.
For a postnup to be valid, it must follow the laws of the state in which it was created. It is in the best interest of both spouses to have a lawyer compose a postnuptial agreement to ensure that all financial matters are covered appropriately and legally. A postnuptial agreement can be thrown out by a judge if one spouse hides assets from the other, if the agreement does not treat each spouse fairly, or if either spouse was pressured into signing the agreement. For this reason, having a family lawyer work on your postnuptial agreement is a wise decision.
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Main Office: 150 North Orange Avenue Suite 100, Orlando, Florida 32801. Attorney Jeffrey Kaufman, Licensed in New York. Disclaimer: the purpose of this site is to provide information about legal options, not to provide legal or professional advice. You should not assume that the information in this site applies to your case without consulting with an attorney first. Requesting an initial consultation does not create an attorney client relationship. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be solely based on advertisement. Before you decide, ask us about our qualifications and experience. KEL Attorneys is a full service Law Firm with offices in Orlando and Tampa, Florida. Our attorneys handle all areas of Law, including Foreclosure Defense, Loan Modifications, Real Estate Transactions, and Real Estate Litigation, as well as IRS Debt Settlement.