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Though prenuptial agreements can be helpful, this kind of contract is not the only option that could help you plan for your future if your marriage ends in divorce. You and your spouse can draft a postnuptial agreement after your wedding, and this document can accomplish many of the same goals as a prenup. If you have already married and still want to thoughtfully address the possibility of a separation or divorce, you should consider a postnuptial agreement.
Postnuptial agreements are legally binding marital contracts in Palm Beach County and are effective tools for anyone who wants to control the disposition of their income and property in the event of a divorce. If you are interested in establishing this type of contract, a West Palm Beach postnuptial agreements lawyer could recommend the best way to proceed in your case.
In a Palm Beach County divorce, all of a couple’s marital assets are subject to equitable division, and a court may award spousal support regardless of what the spouses want. A postnuptial agreement is a binding contract intended to set the terms of a couple’s divorce, rather than leaving important decisions to a court.
Postnuptial agreements could accomplish the following:
It is important to know that if a couple includes provisions in a postnup relating to their children and one spouse challenges those arrangements, a Palm Beach County court must review the custody and support terms at the time of the divorce. If those provisions are not in the children’s best interests, a court may void those terms and order a different custody and support schedule. An experienced postnuptial contracts attorney in the area could recommend provisions for the postnup that can achieve a party’s goals.
One of the most important benefits of the Postnuptial Agreement is that it can greatly ease the process of asset distribution if the couple later chooses to get divorced. Dividing property between two people is complicated, and these decisions can lead to heated arguments that can be difficult to resolve. However, if the spouses have clear guidelines for the asset division set out in their postnup document, they could avoid time-consuming or expensive disputes.
In West Palm Beach, courts recognize postnuptial agreements if they are negotiated and signed under specific guidelines. To be legally enforceable, a postnup must be in writing, voluntarily agreed to by both spouses, and signed in the presence of a notary. If the agreement lacks any of these elements, it might not be binding on the parties.
A postnup must also contain full disclosure of each party’s income, assets, and liabilities. If one party hid their assets, misrepresented their income, or did not tell the other about debts they incurred prior to or during the marriage, a court may be more likely to invalidate the agreement.
Postnuptial agreements should also be fair to both spouses. If the contract clearly favors one party over the other, it may be, under some circumstances, deemed unconscionable by a court, and therefore unenforceable. A local postnuptial agreement attorney could fully explain the financial disclosure process, recommend terms that protect the client’s interests but which are equitable to both parties, and ensure that the contract meets the legal requirements.
Establishing a postnuptial contract goes beyond simple preparation for the possibility of a divorce. A postnup can help you set clear expectations with your spouse about how income and assets will be handled during your marriage. It can also make your intentions regarding your children clear in the event you and your spouse choose to no longer reside together.
A West Palm Beach postnuptial agreements lawyer could be invaluable if you are considering a postnup. From negotiating with your spouse or their attorney to drafting or reviewing an agreement, our firm’s attorneys could help create a contract that protects your income and assets and provides for your children in the event of divorce. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.