What is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a contract outlining the terms of possession of assets written and agreed to before marriage. Furthermore, a prenuptial agreement protects the financial interests of both parties in the event of a divorce. In Florida, the spouse to be bound by the contract must have the opportunity to read the agreement and must decide on their own free will to sign it.
What is a Postnuptial Agreement?
A postnuptial agreement is a contract agreed to and signed after marriage that outlines the terms and possession of assets. It is similar to a prenuptial agreement as it also protects the financial interests of both parties in the event of a divorce.
Disclosure of Assets
A major difference between a prenuptial agreement and postnuptial agreement is the disclosure of assets requirement. According to Florida Statute § 732.702(2), spouses do not have to disclose their assets if the couple executes the agreement before marriage. XLII Fla. Stat. Ann. § 732.702(2) (West 2017). This means that spouses entering into a prenuptial agreement do not have to disclose their assets to one another. On the contrary, Florida state law requires the disclosure of assets in postnuptial agreements. Id.
International marriages provide for unique issues with respect to prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. For example, if a couple marries in England and then move to the United States, although the U.S. will recognize the marriage decree, the U.S. may not recognize the prenuptial agreement. In this case, the couple likely will have to contract for a postnuptial agreement in the United States. Because Florida law requires disclosure of assets in a postnuptial agreement, it can create potential issues for couples moving into the United States who seek to keep their assets confidential.
Why Pre/Post-nuptial Agreements are Important:
In Florida, a spouse seeking a divorce decree can obtain the decree without the other spouse’s consent; however, pre and postnuptial agreements can protect assets from distribution by the court.
In addition, postnuptial agreements are also important to spouses in their second marriage who have children from their first marriage. Postnuptial agreements are enforceable contracts that can require a spouse to provide for children from past marriages.