3 Things You Should Know About Postnuptial Agreements

Posted on: 7 July 2015

Marriage is designed to be a lifelong endeavor; however, approximately 50% of all marriages end in divorce. If you recently got married and did not have a prenuptial agreement, but are now worried about the way things are going, it might be a good idea to look into getting a postnuptial agreement. If you are wondering what they are, why they're used, and how to create one, here are the answers you need to know.

What Is A Postnuptial Agreement?

Postnuptial agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements, except that a postnuptial agreement is created after the wedding instead of before. People create prenuptial agreements before marriage for protection of assets, and postnuptial agreements are designed for the same purpose.

If you create a postnuptial agreement and end up in a divorce, this document should hold up in court. There has been controversy in the past over postnuptial agreements and their validity, but today most courts recognize them as valid, legal documents.

What Are The Necessary Components Of A Postnuptial Agreement?

If you want to make sure that your postnuptial agreement will hold up in court, you will need to go to a family law attorney to have it created. A family lawyer will help you create the document in a way that it will hold up in court by ensuring that it meets the following conditions:

  • Both parties must sign it – You cannot create a postnuptial agreement and expect it to hold up in court if your spouse does not sign it. In addition to signing it, the document should also include the date and may need to have witness signatures too.
  • It must be fair – One of the key rules of creating a postnuptial agreement is that it must be fair and reasonable. It cannot simply state that one spouse gets everything and the other spouse gets nothing. It must be very clear about the division of assets, and it must be fair for both parties.
  • It must be clear – It also must be clear on how the assets will be divided, and it should include a waiver that clearly explains what one spouse is willing to give up in the event that the marriage ends in divorce.

When a couple creates a postnuptial, it is often signed in the presence of an attorney. This is done to ensure that one spouse is not forcing, tricking, or manipulating the other spouse into signing the document.

What Can It Include?

A postnuptial agreement can contain many types of divisions or agreements as long as they are fair, and they can usually contain the same types of agreements that you would find in a prenuptial agreement.

One of the more common reasons couples create postnuptial agreements is for protection of assets received after the marriage. For example, if you inherit a fortune after you get married, this money would legally become yours and your spouses. You would both have equal rights to it if you got divorced, because it was received after you got married.

In this case, you may decide to create a postnuptial agreement to specifically protect yourself in this matter. To make it fair, you could state that you want 75% of this money if you get divorced. Your spouse would receive the other 25%, which is a relatively fair way to split the inheritance.

Postnuptial agreements are not always about money, though. They can also include agreements about child support, spousal support, child custody, and more.

If you are interested in creating a postnuptial agreement, you should begin by talking to your spouse about it. If your spouse agrees to it, make an appointment with a family law attorney from a firm like Thomas & Associates, PC.