Although most people understand the purpose of a prenuptial agreement, many do not realize that they can secure the same level of personal protection even after they have gotten hitched. Typically, a prenuptial agreement would be drafted and signed by both parties prior to the wedding. This would help each spouse to ensure that their interests will be protected in the event of a divorce—namely the financial assets that they are bringing to the marriage. The contents of the document will vary from coupe to couple, but typically include provisions for the division of property, spousal support and even guardianship of minor children. This will subsequently help the couple to streamline the divorce process if they eventually decide to go their separate ways, while also providing a certain level of protection.
In essence, a postnuptial agreement can be utilized to accomplish the very same goals. While most courts have traditionally considered two spouses to be one legal entity—thus making a postnuptial agreement invalid—more and more judges have been willing to accept these legal documents in recent years. This is partly due to the fact that more and more couples have sought to create such a contract after engaging in marriage. That being said, however, it is important to understand that certain conditions must be met in order for a judge to provide their stamp of approval. This includes providing full disclosure of assets, entering into the agreement voluntarily (both parties) and having terms that are fair and equitable. If these conditions are not met, the judge can choose not to enforce it.
For this reason, it is highly recommended that each party retain separate legal counsel when drafting a postnuptial agreement. In doing so, they can ensure that their individual interests will be protected. The court will also look more favorably upon an agreement that has been made under the advisement of independent legal counsel. If you are interested in creating such an agreement between you and your current spouse, either because you are unsure that the marriage will last or you would just like the peace of mind that you will be protected in the event of a divorce, you should not hesitate to find out how the Jacksonville divorce attorneys at Charles E. Willmott, P.A. can help. Our firm has helped numerous clients create postnuptial agreements, so you can trust that you will be in good hands.
To get started, call our office today at (904) 849-5183 and schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced member of our legal team.