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Protecting your financial rights after getting married

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2023 | Divorce

You did not see the need to get a prenuptial agreement before you married and now you are starting to regret that decision.

You might have concerns about assets and debts gained after you married, income disparities between you and your spouse and who will care for your children if your marriage ends in divorce.

A prenuptial agreement could have addressed these situations. But even in the absence of one, you can still address these issues by executing a postnuptial agreement.

What is a postnuptial agreement?

Like a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement is a contract between you and your spouse that outlines your respective property and financial rights during your marriage and your rights in the event of a divorce. Postnuptial agreements are executed after you are married, not before.

A postnuptial agreement can address marital issues such as whether you will have individual or joint bank accounts and who will be responsible for which debts. It can also address inheritance issues and guardianship issues.

A postnuptial agreement can address divorce issues such as the division of assets and debts as well as spousal support. Postnuptial agreements can address child custody, if these provisions are in the best interests of the child.

Why get a postnuptial agreement?

If your marriage is in a good place, you might want to ensure your spouse will not be burdened with your debt. You might want to ensure that the stay-at-home spouse in your relationship will be provided for financially. You might want to ensure your children will get an inheritance if you pass away.

A postnuptial agreement can assign debt and include provisions on how your spouse and children will be provided for if you pass away.

If your marriage is a bit rocky right now, you might want to ensure you have an equal share in newly-acquired assets even if the asset is titled in one name only. Or you might want to make plans now for how you and your spouse will support yourselves if your marriage ends.

A postnuptial agreement can designate which assets and debts are separate and which are marital. A postnuptial agreement can also address spousal support, including how much will be paid and for how long.

A postnuptial agreement is only as good as it is enforceable. Many spouses decide to work with their own attorney when negotiating a postnuptial agreement.