You are currently viewing What Is A Postnuptial Agreement?

What Is A Postnuptial Agreement?

A postnuptial agreement is beneficial to many couples in regard to things such as their businesses and assets, but not every couple needs or wants one. A postnuptial agreement, contrary to a prenuptial agreement, is signed after a couple gets married and is a legally binding document according to a family lawyer. If you and your spouse don’t think you need one then just don’t worry about it as it’s not necessary for all couples. 

What Is A Postnuptial Agreement? 

A postnuptial agreement is a contract between spouses after they get married which discusses how their assets will be divided if they divorce later on. There is no time limit for when you need to sign your “postnup”, you and your spouse can even create the agreement years after getting married. Postnuptials can include property for either individual or property acquired during the marriage but it cannot contain anything regarding child custody or child support considering those decisions must be made by a judge. The agreement must be in writing and both parties must willingly agree to the terms and sign it in order for it to be legally enforceable. 

What Can Be In A Postnuptial Agreement? 

According to the Brandy Austin Law Firm, a postnuptial can list out what is to be done with marital property in case of divorce or the death of one spouse. In some circumstances one spouse may want to waive rights they would otherwise inherit if not for the postnuptial contract. The agreement can address alimony and can limit or give up the alimony. Alimony which is also known as spousal support which one spouse will provide the other during separation or after divorce in order for them to be self-sufficient and give the spouse time to get back on their feet financially. Postnuptial agreements cannot contain subject matter regarding child support or child custody that has to be decided on by a judge and not the couple. 

What Are The Reasons Couples Sign Postnuptials? 

The reasons for signing these agreements will vary depending on the couple and their assets, sometimes couples get a postnuptial simply because they didn’t have time before getting married to get into the details of a prenuptial. The purpose for many postnuptial agreements is because one or both of the individuals in the marriage have a significant amount of wealth that they either had before the marriage or inherited during the marriage. A postnuptial will ensure that both individuals are able to leave the marriage without losing assets or money that they previously had. In the event that you receive a large inheritance during the marriage, a postnuptial agreement can be useful to handle the new assets. In states with community property laws, the new inheritance will become the property of both spouses and if you’d like to keep it separate a postnuptial agreement will help. 

A postnuptial agreement is sort of like a form of insurance on the assets each spouse owns and hopes to continue to own in the event that the marriage is dissolved. It is wise to consult with an attorney to help you and your spouse with the postnuptial agreement just to make sure that all requirements are met and both individuals are content with the contract.