Actress Robin Wright filed for divorce on Sept. 22, 2022, from her husband of four years. The marriage’s downfall was “irreconcilable differences.” While a Hollywood divorce does not surprise most people, her filing did mention a legal document that does not get as much attention – a postnuptial agreement.
Prenuptial agreements may have greater name awareness, but postnuptial agreements are just as effective in establishing guidelines for the marriage. The contract also addresses issues that must be resolved should the couple ever divorce.
Purpose of Postnuptial Agreements
In the example of Wright and her husband, Saint Laurent executive Clément Giraudet, her divorce filing stated, "Pursuant to the parties' post-nuptial agreement, all assets are his/her separate property."
Postnuptial agreements are typically drafted if a couple either regrets not having a prenuptial agreement or some aspect of their lives changed to precipitate the need to have one. The document offers protection that is customizable to the couple’s specific needs. Postnuptial agreements can also be used to modify the terms of an executed prenuptial agreement.
A postnuptial agreement can be written at any time after a couple is legally married. The contract can cover a wide range of marital issues:
- Consequences of infidelity
- Categorizes property as separate or marital
- Decide who is responsible for separate and marital debts
- Identifies which spouse is responsible for which household bills
- Determines how household chores are divided
- Outlines ownership of business interests
- Whether alimony will be paid if a divorce occurs
Child custody or child support can be predetermined in a postnuptial agreement.
At Mitchell & West LLC, we can help Floridians create a contract that protects their interests while being fair to their spouse. An agreement that is egregiously unfair to one spouse could be invalidated in a court challenge.
Reasons to Have a Postnuptial Agreement
Specific circumstances occurring during a marriage may compel spouses to create a postnuptial agreement. If one spouse is unfaithful, the other spouse might ask for a postnuptial to legally state the ramifications of any subsequent infidelity. This is one of the more sensational reasons to ask for a postnuptial, but there are many other situations in which the agreement is beneficial.
Consider a postnuptial agreement if any of the following occur:
- One spouse plans to open a business. The agreement can protect business assets and business partners in the event of a divorce.
- One spouse inherits a large sum. While an individual inheritance is generally considered separate property, a postnuptial agreement can confirm that the money is the property of one spouse.
- There are children from other relationships. The legal document can be an estate planning tool that ensures assets are passed on to children from previous relationships.
- One spouse puts their career on hold. Sometimes one spouse leaves work to care for children or in-laws. This missed time from work makes them less employable. The postnuptial agreement can ensure the spouse is provided for in the event of a divorce.
Spouses can decide to make their agreement as simple or as comprehensive as necessary to meet their goals.
Learn if a Postnuptial Agreement Is Right for You
Having a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement does not mean you do not have faith that your marriage will endure. These contracts can protect marriages from future problems, not just simplify matters in a divorce.
Learn more in an in-person, telephone, or video consultation. Scheduling by calling (305) 783-3301 or completing our online form.