Boca Attorney – Doreen Yaffa – Says Post-Nup Can Help Salvage Troubled Marriages
BOCA RATON, FL (Dec. 7) – Golfer Tiger Woods may be able to salvage his marriage if his wife Elin agrees to a multimillion-dollar post-nuptial agreement, according to Boca Raton attorney Doreen Yaffa, a board-certified matrimonial lawyer.
“If media reports are accurate, Tiger and Elin Woods are amending their pre-marriage agreement after the extensive coverage of his ‘transgressions’ – a potentially positive step for both of them,” said Yaffa. “By settling the big financial issues, a post-nup would allow the couple to work on the emotional side of their relationship.”
Woods is the latest of a string of high-profile celebrities who have stated they want to stay with their wives despite marital problems. For instance, TV host David Letterman in October confessed to a string of affairs, made a public apology on his show and said he hoped his marriage to Regina Lasko would survive.
“If these men are serious, a post-nuptial agreement can help salvage their marriages,” says Boca Raton attorney Doreen Yaffa, a board-certified matrimonial lawyer. In recent years, Yaffa has helped several couples resolve their marital issues with a “post-nup,” a contract that is similar in many ways to a pre-nuptial agreement signed before marriage. In fact, a pre-nuptial agreement can be turned into a post-nup at any time if both husband and wife agree.
“Post-nups are rare today because most people don’t understand the concept,” says Yaffa, managing partner at Yaffa & Associates. “But if there were more post-nups, I believe the divorce rate would probably be lower.”
Now, when someone comes to her office who wants a divorce, Yaffa says the first question she asks is, “Are you sure your marriage is over?” If the person is not sure, she suggests considering a post-nuptial agreement. “In every case, the spouses who signed a post-nup are still married,” Yaffa says.
A post-nup allows a couple to plan for the equitable distribution of savings, investments, real estate and personal property in the event of a divorce, Yaffa says.
It’s a flexible document that can be structured to accommodate an couple’s specific needs and goals.
“In South Florida, which has many second marriages, a post-nup can be a very positive tool for improving a relationship,” Yaffa says. For example, it can resolve inheritance issues that might otherwise cloud a new marriage.
“A post-nup can assure that the children of a prior marriage receive a share of the marital assets,” she says, “almost like estate planning. Or if you received an inheritance from your uncle for $1 million, your spouse would be entitled to 50 percent. But with a post-nup, you can split amount in any manner you choose.”
One of the most common reasons for a post-nuptial agreement is infidelity. Typically, the husband has an affair, and then wants his wife to take him back.
In these cases, a post-nup can be structured with a “bad boy” clause that includes a penalty for further infidelity, Yaffa says. For instance, the agreement could specify that the wife would get $5 million in addition to the normal distribution of marital assets if the husband cheated again.
However, a post-nup will not cover any issues pertaining to children, such as custody or visitation, because those provisions would not be legally enforceable under Florida law. As Yaffa says, “The state has the right to decide what’s best for the children.”
Yaffa & Associates specializes in complex and sophisticated family law matters, both domestically and abroad. For more information, www.yaffapa.com.