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Postnuptial vs prenuptial agreement: What's the difference?

Many individuals have heard of a prenuptial agreement. In fact, an individual or someone they know might have perhaps signed one. However, not as many Florida residents are as familiar with the counter-point to a prenuptial agreement -- the postnuptial agreement.

A postnuptial agreement is a legal agreement that is executed by an already-married couple. Many are recommended by marriage therapists in order to help smooth things over in a rocky marriage. Now, they are becoming much more common. A recent survey of American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyer members discovered that, for the last three years, around half of the members saw an increase in married couples seeking out this kind of agreement.

In essence, a postnuptial agreement works similarly to a prenuptial agreement. The couple decides in advance what will happen if the marriage dissolves. In agreeing on things while everything is still going well, the idea is that things will go much more smoothly when and if the marriage deteriorates and emotions run high. According to the respondents of the survey, around 90 percent stated that the postnups that were drawn up covered division of property, while around 73 percent stated that they covered alimony as well as spousal support.

If the possibility of a postnup is brought up, both spouses should tread carefully, recommends James McLaren, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. If an individual is the one considering initiating one, he cautions that close consideration should be paid to whether it might be better to go ahead with a divorce or attempt to salvage the relationship with a legally binding agreement. Either way, when individuals are considering getting married or divorced, consulting an experienced Florida divorce attorney to look into a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement might save them a world of time, effort and trouble should the proverbial knot ever be untied.

Source: consumeraffairs.com, "Postnuptial agreements becoming more common, lawyers say", Mark Huffman, Oct. 29, 2015

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