A prenuptial agreement is the contract you sign with your spouse before you get married. It allows you to share your expectations and goals for the marriage while also establishing some amount of accountability. A prenuptial agreement also usually outlines how the spouses will split their property if they get divorced.
A postnuptial agreement covers most of the same issues but occurs at a later point in the relationship. People often consider creating a postnuptial agreement when they inherit significant assets, plan to start a business or experience their hardship. Regardless of your reason for wanting a postnuptial agreement, you may find that it actually helps protect your marriage.
Creating a marital agreement provides realistic divorce expectations
Even an attorney who has litigated hundreds of divorces can’t perfectly predict how a judge will rule when it comes to property division for one specific couple. The uncertainty of divorce decrees can make the process seem more enticing to certain kinds of people.
When you sit down to create a postnuptial agreement with your spouse, you set terms for separating your finances, making divorce predictable. When someone knows exactly what they will receive, splitting up may not seem as tempting as it did when it was still shrouded in mystery.
Your discussions are a chance to address issues in the marriage
If you have started to grow apart or have encountered specific adverse events, like infidelity or the discovery of a hidden debt, it can be hard to get past those issues. Sitting down to think about the future if you split up can be a profound turning point in your relationship.
You will have to discuss how the impact of your behaviors might influence the outcome of your separation and divorce. You will also have to look at the expectations you brought to the marriage. Couples evaluating their relationship like this may find ways to reprioritize and improve the way that they relate to each other.
Setting clear expectations and specific terms for a divorce could be enough to help you work through this hard time. If things don’t get better and you do move on to a divorce, a postnuptial agreement will help you keep things civil and affordable as you go your separate ways.