Considering A Marital Separation? A Postnuptial Agreement Provides Important Protections
If you are having problems in your marriage, a separation can provide some breathing room. Taking a little time away from your spouse offers an opportunity to get some important perspective on your relationship and the issues you face. However, it is important to be aware of how the law works in Florida in regards to these matters. There is no formal process for separating from your spouse. A postnuptial agreement may be the best way to protect yourself.
Lack of Legal Marital Separation In Fort Lauderdale Poses Certain Risks
Some states offer legal separation. It clarifies the fact that a couple is not currently living together and details arrangements, such as who continues to live in the family home and any agreements regarding spousal support. Florida is not one of these states.
Legal separation is not available through the Broward County Family Court. This exposes you to certain risks:
- Dissipation of marital property: Any marital property or assets, such as homes, cars, furniture, and money in financial accounts, continues to be owned jointly. Dissipation of assets is when a spouse sells, gives away, destroys, or otherwise devalues items you would otherwise be entitled to.
- Marital debts: Once you file for a divorce, you can make the case that you are not liable for any new debts incurred by your spouse. This is not the case during a separation.
- Lack of support: Without a court order, your spouse is not required to make child or spousal support payments.
- Dating: As you are still married, dating during a separation could be considered adultery and can be used against you in divorce proceedings.
A Postnuptial Agreement Can Provide A Solution
Under the Florida Statutes, a postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, except that the couple creates it after they are married. The same as with a prenup, it clarifies rights to property and assets you own, sets expectations regarding financial matters, and includes provisions in the event of a divorce.
Creating a postnuptial agreement can provide a solution to the problem posed by the lack of legal separation in Florida. Benefits a postnup offers includes:
- Establishes the fact that you are indeed separated;
- Provides a current inventory of all marital property, assets, and debts, which can help prevent dissipation;
- Grants rights in regards to use of marital property, such as allowing you to remain in the family home;
- Details financial arrangements, allowing you to negotiate support for yourself and your children during your separation;
- Details penalties for infidelity and other terms that could prove relevant if you do file for divorce.
Discuss Your Options With Our Fort Lauderdale Postnuptial Agreement Attorney
If you are considering a marital separation, the law office of Vanessa L. Prieto can help in clarifying important issues that could impact your rights, now and in the future. To discuss your options, call or contact our Fort Lauderdale prenuptial & postnuptial agreement attorney online and request a consultation today.