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How you can benefit from a post-nuptial agreement

Now that we're more familiar with what a reasonable prenuptial agreement looks like, let's take a look at what a postnuptial agreement is. This kind of legal document is similar to a prenup, except instead of creating it prior to marriage, a postnuptial agreement is deliberated during marriage--or if the couple is not married, a civil union. Postnups are a relatively new creation, only recently established in the 1970s. Though they are gaining more traction and popularity now amongst married couples, postnups may be trickier to uphold in a courtroom setting than the traditional prenup.

 

Why a Postnup?

There are several reasons a couple might want to get a postnup.Two of the most common reasons married couples sway in this direction is if they ran out of time to get a prenuptial agreement before the wedding, or they're attempting to reconcile some kind of wrongdoing that occurred inside of the marriage, like an affair. Here are a few other reasons why a couple might want a postnuptial agreement:

  • When spouses have children from different marriages and they want to guarantee certain assets are passed off to them

  • If one spouse has been financially irresponsible, the other spouse may want to protect their own finances and property

  • To clearly define wishes for property they brought into the marriage

The postnup is a backup plan if the marriage ends in divorce. As stated in the previous post, more than half of marriages fail. Getting a postnup is a good "just in case" action you may want to take if you think your marriage will eventually head in that direction. Even if a postnup staves off a divorce for only a couple more years, it can still be worthwhile if an expensive, messy divorce is avoided.

When to Avoid a Postnup

A postnuptial agreement offers security for you and your assets. Nearly everyone has something, whether property or an inheritance, to protect. But in some cases, one spouse may have an unfair advantage over the other, and if this happens, you might want to think twice about getting a postnup:

  • If you're making significantly less money than your spouse. If there is a large income gap between you and your spouse and your marriage ends in divorce, you may notice that the provisions stated in the postnup might not adequately provide for you.

  • You didn't take the time to observe the agreement's contents. Like any other legal contract, a postnup is binding. That's why it's necessary to pore over every sentence and term outlined, so that you have a full understanding of what it contains.

If for any reason you and your spouse are having a difficult time deciding if a postnuptial agreement is right for you, reach out to a trusted and experienced family law attorney to help you make the best decision moving forward.

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