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Postnuptial Agreement Alive and Well…


I read with interest an article discussing the Iowa Supreme Court recently upholding as valid and enforceable in that sate a couple’s post-nuptial agreement that was entered into and signed by the parties in the State of Florida over 20 years ago. I say I read with interest, for the issue for the Iowa high court was whether it would recognize such agreement as valid, for the state of Iowa under their state’s laws, like many states around the country, does not recognize post-nuptial agreements that are entered into between an Husband and Wife after their marriage as valid or enforceable. Florida, however, is a state that allows for couples to enter into post-nuptial agreements to determine how marital assets and liabilities will be distributed for estate planning purposes or in the event of a dissolution of marriage; as such, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that since the couple’s agreement was completed in Florida before they moved to Iowa, Florida’s laws apply and therefore the post-nuptial agreement was upheld as valid. As a result of the Court’s ruling, the Wife could not make a claim against her deceased Husband’s assets after his death in 2012, for she had signed a post-nuptial agreement with her Husband in 1991 in Citrus County, Florida waiving any rights to each other’s property.
I have drafted many pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements over the years, and there are two very important aspects to make sure such documents are upheld later on if there is a dissolution of marriage:
  1. Each spouse should have their own, independent attorney.
  2. Full financial disclosure of the parties’ income, assets, and liabilities and provided to the other spouse and his/her attorney.
If you would like to consult about Florida law in relation to a post-nuptial or prenuptial agreement, and to discuss how we can be of assistance to you, please contact me at 386.257.1222