Prenuptial agreements are great for protecting your personal finances in the event of a divorce; however, they are not always appropriate or practical in every situation. If you are already married, can you still protect your finances during a divorce? Yes, postnuptial agreements, while not as common as prenuptial agreements, serve almost the exact same purpose. Let’s dive into postnuptial agreements below.
What are postnuptial agreements?
Nobody enters a marriage with the sole goal of getting divorced. Though divorce may not have been on your mind while you were getting married, the sad reality is that nearly half of every marriage in the United States eventually ends in some type of legal dissolution or separation. If you failed to secure a prenuptial agreement before the marriage, you can still protect your personal finances through a postnuptial agreement.
A postnuptial agreement is nearly identical to a prenuptial agreement in that both agreements spell out exactly which spouse gets what assets should the marriage end in divorce. The only major difference between the two is that a postnuptial agreement is made after the marriage takes place but before it ends in divorce, separation, or death.
In order to ensure that all of your finances and assets are protected, you will need the help of a skilled family law attorney that specializes in postnuptial agreements.
What are the benefits of a postnuptial agreement?
While thinking about what could happen during a divorce may seem like you are “jinxing” your marriage, it really is your best way to protect your financial future. Postnuptial agreements offer the following benefits:
Dividing of assets
Should spending ever become an issue during your marriage, obtaining a postnuptial agreement can serve as a legal division of assets. Dividing your assets in this way will help you and your spouse spend money as each sees fit without affecting the other.
Easier time talking about the subject
In many cases, a prenuptial agreement can be a difficult subject to bring up. Thinking about divorce before you even get married may turn many couples away. Because of this, it is often easier to obtain a postnuptial agreement rather than a prenuptial agreement. The former allows people to get more comfortable with each other and better ease into the subject.
Starting a new business
Did you start a new business or enter a new partnership after your marriage? Many new business partnerships may require that you sign a postnuptial agreement with your spouse to help protect the business’s finances. The reason for this is to prevent your spouse from being able to claim any part of the business in the event of a divorce.
Protecting from infidelity
Was your spouse unfaithful? Or, are you worried about any future infidelity? Signing a postnuptial agreement is a great way to outline the consequences of a lack of faithfulness in a marriage.
There are many other benefits to signing a postnuptial agreement. If you would like to hear any other specific benefits, then contact your postnuptial agreement attorney today.
What should I know about postnuptial agreements?
Before you enter into a postnuptial agreement with your spouse, please consider the following:
Your agreement must be in writing.
Just like prenuptial agreements, a postnuptial agreement must be in written form and tailored towards your state’s specific laws concerning it. Verbal agreements will not fully protect your finances in the event of a divorce. Save trouble in the future by drafting your agreement with your postnuptial agreement attorney.
We suggest getting separate lawyers.
We can not recommend getting separate lawyers enough for postnuptial agreements. If you and your spouse each gets a separate lawyer, then you will greatly increase the chances that both sides are fully represented in the agreement. This will also increase the likelihood that the agreement is enforceable in the future.
You and your spouse have a fiduciary duty to each other.
While the focus of a prenuptial agreement is often on yourself, the focus of a postnuptial agreement will require that you also consider your spouse’s best interests. The law concerning this agreement mandates that you must disclose all of your assets and debts. Failing to act in good faith now will more than likely void your agreement later.
Postnuptial agreements don’t need as much time to go into effect.
Prenuptial agreements require a seven day waiting period before they go into effect. That is not the case for postnuptial agreements. These agreements can be turned around in as little as a few hours. However, we do not recommend rushing through such an important contract.
Need help with your postnuptial agreement?
Even though postnuptial agreements are a little more easier to talk to your spouse about, it can still be a touchy subject. Having a qualified third-party help you draft the agreement will greatly ensure that the needs of both parties are taken into account.
Our seasoned legal team at The Alsandor Law Firm has helped numerous married couples protect their financial future in the event of a divorce. Contact us today to begin the process.