Most people know at least the basic facts about a prenuptial agreement, but fewer people would be able to define as much about a postnuptial agreement. In fact, many people do not realize that you can create a postnuptial agreement to protect you and your assets in much the same manner as a prenuptial.
What Is A Postnuptial Agreement?
A postnuptial is an agreement made after marriage. Typically, these agreements are entered during a time of stress in the marriage, although they can also be made due to major life changes. For example, a couple who marries late in life and is ready to retire may think about a postnuptial agreement to ensure that the distribution of their assets is clear to their heirs if there is a “gray divorce” at some point.
Postnuptials have become more prominent in the past 25 years. Marriage mediators are sometimes employed to help the couple draw up an agreement that meets their current needs and gives them guidance in removing stress from their marriage.
What Does A Postnuptial Cover?
Most postnuptial agreements cover a much smaller range of topics than prenuptial agreements. This is partly because in a prenuptial agreement, either party can decide not to get married and avoid having to submit to the terms of the agreement. A postnuptial is seen as something that affects the already existing marriage. It is crucial when considering a postnuptial that the laws of the state are taken into consideration as well, as each state handles these differently.
A postnuptial can take several forms. Whatever form it takes, however, it is an agreement that requires a notary and review by an attorney. These agreements are enforceable in court, so a postnuptial is not something to be taken lightly and requires trained professionals to draft correctly. Currently, courts are setting precedents that support postnuptial agreements, particularly in light of the fact that these documents may help speed through the divorce process for some couples. Courts are also emphasizing the need for full financial disclosure and the assistance of attorneys to review the documents for each partner in order for a postnuptial to be valid.
In the end, a postnuptial may or may not be right for you. It certainly is a means of trying to mend problems which are happening in the marriage, but it may not cover everything that a prenuptial would have covered. It may also be difficult to discuss the need for a postnuptial agreement with your partner.
If you are thinking about drawing up a postnuptial agreement, call the Men’s Legal Center. These attorneys have years of experience in drafting postnuptial agreements and can help you create an agreement that is both useful and compliant with existing state law.