Can a post-nuptial agreement really save your assets in the case of a divorce in Florida?
The law certainly says so.
Florida law will interpret the agreements like any other contract, explicitly stating that “[n]o consideration other than the execution of the agreement, contract, or waiver shall be necessary to its validity, whether executed before or after marriage.”
Thus, the only difference between a post- and a pre-nuptial agreement is when each occurred. Otherwise, everything will be interpreted the same and your assets will be saved from any divorce disputes.
Here are the basic requirements for any legal contract:
- A Writing – the agreement must be notarized in writing
- Signatures – the writing must be signed by both parties
- Of Their Free Will – this is a fancy way of saying neither party can force the other one into the agreement
- Fair – the terms cannot be so extreme as to be considered unconscionable
- Full Financial Disclosure – the parties must make a full and accurate disclosure of their financial circumstances
The first requirement might seem elementary, but it’s absolutely vital. The courts are supposed to only look within the four corners of the document when someone questions the agreement, and unwritten or oral statements won’t be considered. Even if you think you and your spouse have an understanding, do not take a chance. Write it down and sign it!
When one party attacks a pre- or post-nuptial agreement, the courts will consider if it was fair at the time of signing.
The judge will hear arguments on whether one party coerced the other into signing the document and will rule the contract unenforceable if he or she finds foul play. Plus, the court will ensure that each party had all of the information that should have been available when making such a significant decision. Any attempts to hide assets will not be taken lightly by the court, putting the entire agreement at risk.
While the requirements aren’t overly daunting, you should be careful when striking a deal on a post-nuptial agreement. The knowledgeable professionals at the Men’s Divorce Law Firm of Orlando, Florida, can help ensure that your rights and assets are protected. Call 321-DIVORCE today to schedule a consultation and follow our Twitter page for more insights about divorce and family law.