I am often asked whether I am available to assist with a legal separation. The State of Florida does not
recognize a traditional legal separation, unlike many other states that do allow married couples to
legally separate. However, if you are not quite ready to move forward with a divorce, or you are going
through counselling or other attempts to save the marriage, you can still mediate and enter into a
postnuptial agreement with your spouse, which can effectively accomplish the same thing as a legal
Many have heard of prenuptial agreements, which are made before a marriage; a postnuptial
agreement achieves many of the same objectives, the primary difference being its formation after the
parties have been married. Essentially, a postnuptial agreement sets forth an enforceable agreement as
to one or more issues that would require resolution in the event the parties were to file for divorce. For
example, a postnuptial agreement can help the parties to identify and divide their marital assets, and
provide a date after which future acquisitions will be identified as separate property in the event of a
divorce. It can also provide for alimony should the parties divorce in the future, or for a waiver of such
support. Finally, if there are minor children, it can address timesharing, child support and other issues
concerning the children. As long as a postnuptial agreement is entered into with full disclosure of the
parties’ respective financial conditions and a lack of any attempt to mislead or otherwise defraud the
other party, it will be enforceable by a court should the parties get divorced in the future, subject only to
the court’s assurance that all child-related issues are in compliance with Florida law and otherwise in the
children’s best interest.
Should a divorce be sought after the date of the postnuptial agreement, the parties would simply submit
the agreement to the court, and ask the judge to enforce it as part of the final judgment of dissolution.
In this manner, the parties’ advance planning has saved them significant legal expenses compared to
litigating the issues in court, and at least one stressful thing has been removed from their shoulders, as
divorce can be traumatic under the best of circumstances.
If you are not facing an imminent divorce but still would like to create an enforceable document in the
event you decide to divorce in the future, please contact Healthy Family Mediation Center to discuss
how a postnuptial agreement may be a good option.
Contact us today for a free consultation at 239.529.3549 or visit our website at www.healthyfamilymediation.com