Nearly everyone has heard of a prenuptial agreement, which is a contract between two people before they get married. However, many individuals may not be aware of a postnuptial agreement. This is similar to a prenuptial agreement, however, it is created during the marriage. A postnuptial, also called a post-nup, can be a helpful tool for couples who want to ensure that they resolve major issues, should they ever decide to divorce. Just like pre-nups, post-nups may be criticized for making divorce easier. Additionally, some post-nups could be considered invalid if they are not properly drafted and validated.
Creating a Valid Postnuptial Agreement
A valid postnuptial agreement should be drafted by a qualified attorney to ensure that it is legal. The purpose of the document should be to clarify and reaffirm the arrangement, not make things unclear. It is essential to be clear and precise in the document. While you may feel the need to address social issues, these should not be the main focus of the postnup. Social issues that make their way into such agreements may include things such as when and how a Facebook post can be made, or when a person you are dating can be introduced to the children. Within a postnuptial agreement it is important to address financial issues of the relationship; furthermore, it can include important information regarding wills and trusts.
Signing a Postnuptial Agreement
If you are presented with a postnuptial document it is best to take some time to completely review the document before you sign it. The agreement should be fair to both parties. Remember that you can add to the agreement if you don’t think it covers your own needs. You can also ask to make changes to it. Keep in mind that it will be much easier to resolve issues now than after the document is signed and put into place. To protect your interests, have the document reviewed by a reputable divorce attorney to ensure that it covers your needs and is fair.
How to Fight an Unfair Postnuptial Agreement
If a couple divorces with a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place, the document typically takes effect unless one spouse can prove that the agreement is not valid. An agreement may be invalid if it was not signed voluntarily, if one person acted fraudulently, or if a party was under duress when the document was signed. If the agreement is unreasonable a court could rule it unfair and, thus, not binding. Additionally, if a couple both agree, they can request the court to put aside the agreement or modify it. Just because a prenup or postnup is in place does not automatically mean it must be followed. If you have such a document it is necessary to bring it to the attention of your attorney immediately so it can be properly addressed.
If you have any questions or concerns about a postnuptial agreement or are about to begin a divorce, contact the Tampa divorce attorneys and family law lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. in Tampa Bay at 813-816-2232 for a consultation at no charge or email us.
By Lynette Silon-Laguna Google+