In the last few decades, it has become increasingly common for marrying couples to execute a prenuptial agreement. This agreement typically outlines asset division in the case of a divorce. There may be special clauses regarding marital children, as well as special considerations in case of infidelity or even infertility.
These documents help protect both spouses in case of a divorce and are more common in couples with higher assets. If you didn't execute a prenuptial agreement but have concerns about asset division, you may want to speak with an attorney about creating a post-nuptial agreement.
A post-nuptial agreement is incredibly similar to a prenuptial agreement, with the timing of the execution being the only real difference. As with prenuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements require the consent and agreement of both parties. These documents typically outline how assets will be divided in case of a divorce.
Depending on the couple's history or expectations, there may be special clauses in cases of infidelity, substance abuse or other issues. The greater your assets, the more beneficial a post-nuptial agreement can be. It may even help prevent an unnecessary divorce.
Post-nuptial agreements can help establish clear expectations
Whether it's fidelity or terms related to the length of the marital union, a post-nuptial agreement can help both spouses outline their expectations for the marriage. A post-nuptial agreement can also help a couple receive a preview of how divorce would affect finances and other aspects of life. In some cases, the process of creating a post-nuptial agreement could help a couple move past minor issues or dissuade one spouse from seeking a divorce in the near future. Post-nuptial agreements are generally created at a time when a marriage is overall healthy, though there are exceptions.
Talking about splitting up may seem like a good way to cause problems in a marriage. In reality, it can help both spouses see and understand the benefits of marriage. Additionally, prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements ensure that both spouses are financially and socially protected in the event of a divorce. It also reduces the chance of a truly contentious divorce, which could save both spouses substantial financial losses from a protracted divorce.
If you've already married but believe that your marriage or financial situation would be more stable with a post-nuptial agreement, it's time to talk.
An attorney can help you create a fair post-nuptial agreement
If you and your spouse decide to execute a post-nuptial agreement, you should retain the services of an experienced family law and divorce attorney. Your attorney should be able to advise you on what kind of language and conditions can legally exist in a post-nuptial agreement. Your attorney can also ensure that both spouses receive the full benefits and protection of making careful arrangements via a post-nuptial agreement.