What is a postnuptial agreement and what are some examples of how a postnuptial agreement can help those who are married? A postnuptial agreement is simply any written agreement or contract which is entered into by parties who are presently married. Many have heard of a pre-nup, but why in the world would you need a post-nup?
One of the most common reasons for a post-nup is an affair or consistent infidelity. Once the marital bond of trust has been broken each couple must determine how or if they can continue in the marriage. A postnuptial agreement can help those who are married to address specific issues of concern in a contractual manner. It is often helpful to work through aspects of how a spouse would be protected at the end of a marriage in order for them to have the confidence to agree to working through the issues at hand. In these cases issues such as spousal support, division of community property and the disposition of the family home in the event of a future divorce may be addressed.
In other cases a postnuptial agreement can help those who are married to work through issues which arise during the course of the marriage. Two examples of this are a spouse who starts a business or a spouse who is to receive a substantial inheritance. In the example of a business owner, it may be necessary to protect a partner from the rising debts associated with a failing business. A successful business raises the issues of protecting ownership after a death or divorce while reaching agreement on how equity in the business and future earnings will be distributed between the spouses.
In the example of an inheritance or family gift, the giver or the recipient may wish to keep this money separate from marital funds and protect property, family heirlooms or money in the event of a loss of life or a future divorce.
A postnuptial agreement can help those who are married to memorialize important agreements they’ve reached regarding a situation between the two of them or assets or debts which would otherwise be subjected to community property laws.