While most couples do not say “I do” with the expectation of divorcing in the future, there is no denying that divorce can — and does — happen. Like with other serious matters in life, it is important to be prepared for different possible outcomes.
Couples in Florida can do this by creating a prenuptial agreement that protects each person’s assets should they divorce. But there is also an opportunity to protect one’s self even after getting married. This is done through a postnuptial agreement.
What is a postnuptial agreement?
A postnuptial agreement generally addresses many of the same issues as a prenup. The main difference between is when they are signed. A prenup is created before marriage while a postnup comes after. However, there are some unique reasons for signing a postnuptial agreement that may not apply when thinking about a prenup.
For example, one spouse might develop irresponsible financial habits or potentially hid them before marriage. Being married to someone with sky-high credit card balances and gambling debts is stressful, especially when one’s own financial habits are more responsible. A postnuptial agreement can provide important protections for the spouse who has acted responsibly, such as shielding him or her from certain debts.
Having a child also changes things, as one parent might choose to leave work to stay at home with the kids. This is a pretty significant decision that most people understand will affect their future careers when they return to work.
This decision might be safe enough when married to someone who still earns enough to support the family, but can be risky should the couple divorce. Making sure that certain assets — especially financial ones — are protected and allocated properly will be helpful when a stay-at-home parent needs to reestablish his or her career in Florida.
It is not easy to bring up the idea of a postnuptial agreement with a spouse, especially if the subject has never come up before. But failing to do so out of fear can leave someone vulnerable during a divorce. For some, it might be easier to approach this discussion after learning as much as possible about the topic from an experienced professional.