You are likely familiar with prenuptial agreements. These legal contracts have been drawn up with great frequency for decades. Though they were once stigmatized as evidence of mistrust between the members of an engaged couple, they now represent a proactive tool that often helps to inspire a financially healthy marriage.
But what about individuals who have financial concerns impacting an already existing marriage? A legal tool exists for these individuals as well. Already married couples may choose to draft postnuptial agreements in order to set up financial boundaries, protect certain assets and more clearly lay out financially-related expectations during marriage and in the event of divorce or legal separation.
It is a well-known fact of life that money concerns are among the top reasons for tension in a marriage. A postnuptial agreement can help a committed couple iron out their differences and set up expectations for the future. For example, if a couple has become tense about how certain mutually inherited property will be treated or how one spouse’s business, student or credit card debt will be treated in the event of divorce, treatment of these assets and debts can be laid out in a postnuptial agreement. Once the issue is agreed upon and legally settled, tension in regards to the issue can disappear from the marriage.
If you and your spouse believe that you could benefit from drafting a postnuptial agreement, each of you should seek out independent legal counsel for advice. Whether you are looking to eliminate financially-related tensions from your marriage or you are practically preparing for a possible divorce, a postnuptial agreement may be able to help you reach your goals.
Source: Findlaw Law and Daily Life, “What Is a Postnup? Do You Need One?” Jenny Tsay, Dec. 19, 2013