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4 marital concerns postnuptial agreements can address

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Family Law

Even the strongest partnerships can face unforeseen challenges. While prenuptial agreements (prenups) are becoming increasingly common, some couples might not have considered drafting one before saying “I do.” That’s where postnuptial agreements (postnups) come in.

A postnup is a legal contract created after marriage that (generally) stipulates how marital wealth will be divided in the event of a divorce. It can also address other marital concerns, fostering open communication and financial clarity.

Protecting premarital assets and inheritances

Maybe you received a windfall inheritance after marriage, or your spouse started a successful business venture. A postnup can allow you to safeguard these assets as separate property, helping to ensure they remain yours (or your spouse’s) in case of divorce. This can be especially crucial for couples with children from previous marriages who want to secure assets for their biological heirs.

Stipulating financial roles and responsibilities

A postnup can establish clear expectations about how income will be managed, debts will be paid and savings goals will be achieved. Will you and your partner maintain separate accounts or explore joint accounts? How much will you allow each other to spend independently? A postnup facilitates open communication about money, potentially promoting financial security and reducing future conflict.

Supporting stay-at-home spouses

Suppose you and your partner have chosen to have one spouse stay home to raise children or manage the household; in that case, a postnup can acknowledge this contribution and provide financial security for the stay-at-home spouse in the event of divorce. This could involve spousal support payments, a guaranteed division of marital assets or both. It helps to ensure that the stay-at-home spouse is valued and protected, fostering a more equitable partnership.

Addressing debt and business ownership

A postnup can define how existing debt will be handled in a divorce, helping prevent further financial strain. Similarly, if one spouse owns a business before or during the marriage, a postnup can clarify the ownership structure and distribution of profits, protecting both spouses’ interests.

A postnuptial agreement isn’t a sign of pessimism; it’s a proactive tool to help strengthen your marriage. By openly discussing financial matters and potential scenarios, you can build trust, reduce future conflict and help ensure both spouses are protected. Remember, involving a qualified legal team can be essential to help ensure your postnup is legally sound and reflects your specific needs.