What’s in a Postnuptial Agreement?

Most people are aware of prenuptial agreements, but do not know a similar approach can be taken after a couple is already married.  It is something to consider, as it is impossible to know what the future will hold.

What is a Postnuptial Agreement?

A postnuptial agreement includes provisions on a number of different topics.  While an agreement can be created to reflect each couple’s individual preferences, some provisions are commonly included.

One example is how the couple’s property and various other assets will be divided if they decide to divorce.

If the couple agrees on spousal support, this issue can be included.  The agreement may state which spouse will be responsible for support, and how long he or she will pay support.  

As debts often accumulate during a marriage, the division of debts can be included.  Some examples are mortgages, loans, and credit cards.

While a postnuptial agreement generally focuses on financial issues after divorce, it may also include how assets are to be distributed if one of the spouses dies while the couple is still married.

Is a Postnuptial Agreement Right for You?

Some people do not like the idea of prenuptial or postnuptial agreements because they believe these agreements encourage divorce.  While this is rarely the case, some couples do choose to enter into a postnuptial agreement when they are planning to end their marriage.

The purpose, though, is to protect both individuals.  Even couples who are devoted to each other can change their attitudes when a divorce occurs.  When a couple has a legal agreement, all of these issues will be decided on when they are happily married.

Most couples can benefit from a postnuptial agreement.  However, you should avoid do-it-yourself kits, and consult with an attorney.  Your attorney will be familiar with the laws in your state, help you and your spouse make decisions for the agreement, and prepare the agreement so it is legal.  

If you and your spouse got married without a prenup, it is not too late to secure your future.  When you are happily married, it is the best time to be fair and reasonable about these matters.  Your attorney can offer solid advice, but the final decisions are up to you and your spouse.

When the future is secure, your marriage can be more harmonious.  Neither party will need to worry about what will happen if the marriage ends, or if their spouse passes away.  Regardless of your current assets and debts, take the smart approach and talk to a lawyer about legal help during a divorce.  You can have a happier marriage.



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