A postnuptial agreement (postnup) is a marital agreement that is drafted and signed after the couple is already married. The agreement is a legally binding contract between a couple that includes details concerning what will happen in the event of a divorce.
The key difference between a prenup and a postnup is when the agreement is drafted. While a prenup is signed before the marriage, a postnuptial agreement is drafted and signed after the marriage has begun. A postnup is similar to a prenuptial agreement in that it can include details concerning (but not limited to):
- Whether either party will pay spousal support and for how long
- How property and debts (i.e. credit card debt, mortgages, student loans, etc.) will be divided
- How assets will be handled if either party dies during their marriage
- How pet custody will be handled
Signs You Need a Postnup
In the last several years, the number of couples seeking postnuptial agreements has increased significantly. A 2015 study showed that half of the participating attorneys noticed an increase in couples asking for a postnuptial agreement during the past three years. If you did not draft a prenuptial agreement before entering your marriage, you may be wondering whether you should get a postnuptial agreement. Some of the common reasons a couple obtains a postnuptial agreement include:
- Addressing financial differences. Finances can be divisive in a marriage, and money and its related issues are a leading cause of divorce. If a couple has different views on money and finances, they may consider drafting a postnuptial agreement to discuss their concerns and come to an agreement on how acquired debt should be handled if they do divorce. Agreeing for each party to take sole responsibility for any debt they take on can help both parties feel protected, and couples where one party has an addiction or is more of a risk taker often decide to enter an agreement for this reason.
- Desiring a prenup but missing the window. If you considered drafting a prenuptial agreement but didn’t warm to the idea or start drafting it before you got married, you may now want to draft a postnuptial agreement.
- Having a lot of wealth or assets. If either party is a business owner, anticipates receiving an inheritance, or is wealthy, they often opt to draft a postnup to protect their interests and the asset itself from division.
- Protecting assets for the future. To protect your personal financial future and assets for your children or decedents from a previous marriage, you may consider drafting a marital agreement.
- Wanting to plan for their future. A myth about marital agreements is that only couples with trust issues or with fears concerning their future draft and enter into such agreements. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. While drafting a postnup isn’t exactly romantic, it is almost like insurance; you don’t intend to get in an accident or hope the airline loses your luggage, but you do purchase automobile insurance and travel insurance. If either party is a “planner,” they may want to discuss and clarify some things concerning what will happen in the future if you get divorced.
Consult with Our Firm
If you need help drafting a marital agreement, the attorneys at Kallen Law Firm, LLC can help you draft a legally valid and binding agreement. Known for being experienced, skilled, and compassionate, we can help you protect your interests and make sound legal decisions throughout the process. If you are apprehensive about asking your partner or about drafting the agreement at all, we can also address your concerns and answer any questions you may have.
Learn more about how we can help you by scheduling a consultation today. Call (314) 441-7793 or complete this online form to arrange your free consultation now.