A postnuptial agreement is much like a prenuptial agreement except that you draft it after marriage instead of before it. Postnuptial agreements have become more widely used because they can protect individual spouses and even help a married couple navigate a rocky point in their relationship.
People in different situations may want to include different perms in their postnuptial agreements, but there are certain goals that are quite common. What are three of the most popular uses for post-nuptial agreements?
Establishing expectations or even creating penalties for bad behavior
Couples frequently turn to postnuptial agreements after something has disrupted the marital relationship. Drafting the agreement can be a way to help protect and rebuild the marital relationship. A couple will have to discuss the issue and how it has affected each spouse or might impact a future divorce.
Drafting a postnuptial agreement can be an opportunity to review your expectations for one another. It can also be an opportunity for either of you to impose a penalty for repeat misconduct in the future. For example, spouses may include property division or support penalties triggered by adultery, gambling or other misconduct.
Protecting assets as one person’s separate property
If one spouse just received a large inheritance, a postnuptial agreement can be a way for them to share their good fortune with their spouse without putting it at risk if they later divorce.
A postnuptial agreement can also help those starting a business or expanding an existing one by letting them establish rules about how to handle the company’s value or ownership in the event of a divorce.
Settings clear rules for the division of property in a divorce
Divorce becomes more expensive when couples litigate or go to court over how to split their property. When you successfully negotiate an agreement ahead of time, divorce becomes a procedural matter, rather than a battle.
Deciding now how you would handle the division of your property if you divorce can make both of you feel a little more secure in the relationship or about your financial future. Learning about the possible benefits of a postnuptial agreement might inspire you to talk about one with your spouse.