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Postnuptial agreements: Pros and cons

Although prenuptial agreements are more common, there may be reasons why a couple would want to enter a postnuptial agreement. This is a legal agreement signed after a couple gets married. One of you may have inherited a large sum of money or valuable property that you want to remain in your direct lineage, or you may have discovered that your spouse has significant debt that they did not disclose before the wedding. Before you write up a postnuptial agreement in Florida, however, you need to understand the pros and cons of the document.

Protects children from previous marriages

If you are entering your second, third or fourth marriage and have children from previous marriages, a postnuptial agreement would allow you to protect any assets that may be earmarked for your children. If this is your first marriage, a postnuptial can be used to expand a prenuptial agreement that may not have addressed any children born of your marriage.

Resolves disagreements regarding finances or other matters

After you are married, you may discover information about your spouse that you were not told before the marriage. There are situations where a legal agreement could resolve disagreements and tension. In many cases, a postnuptial agreement strengthens the marriage as it resolves matters that were causing problems.

Is harder to enforce

Courts will not uphold a postnuptial that was signed under coercion, distress or threats. For example, the unfaithful spouse may claim that they were forced to sign the document or else lose custody of the children. If the court believes one person in the marriage was forced into signing a postnuptial agreement, it may not be enforceable. Too often, when couples discuss asset and property division in Florida before signing a postnuptial, they don’t seek legal advice. This leads to documents that do not contain the proper language, which could result in a judge dismissing the agreement.

Before signing a prenup or postnuptial agreement, it is important to obtain legal advice. A family law attorney may help make sure your rights are protected.