Although we constantly hear about the need for a prenuptial agreement in the face of marriage, the fact remains that postnuptial agreements are actually booming in popularity for couples looking to secure their finances after the fact rather than prior to tying the knot
After all, marriage does indeed represent a legal contract and necessary precautions are a smart move by couples looking at the long-term implications of their marriage.
Bear in mind that couples aren’t the only ones impacted by marriage from a legal perspective: for example, children and businesses also hang in the balance if marriages end in a messy divorce without the proper legal contracts in place.
But what exactly does a postnuptial agreement entail and why are so many spouses seeking them out?
The Difference Between Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
In short, a postnuptial agreement is essentially identical to a prenuptial agreement except that it happens after marriage as apposed to prior. Postnuptial contracts can be drawn up for a variety of reasons, including dramatic changes in finances post-marriage or other significant monetary developments.
Oftentimes, couples opt for a postnuptial contract when serious financial conversations arise or they simply realize they rushed through the legal aspects of their marriage, failing to take the time to sit down with a lawyer to draw up a contract.
Much like prenups, postnuptial agreements do not signal gloom and doom for spouses, but rather a means to ensure both parties’ financial futures. Again, the need for a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement varies from couple to couple.
When It’s Time to Consider a Postnuptial Agreement
Perhaps you’ve considered a postnuptial agreement or are on the fence on the subject, curious as to why you might need one in the first place. Consider the following scenarios and situations, for starters:
- You and your spouse did not sit down and have a detailed conversation about finances prior to marriage: this includes long-term career plans, savings and debt
- Coming into an inheritance (including real estate) or large lump sum of cash which either you or your spouse want to keep as their own
- Significant changes in your financial situation such as new-found debt or, on the flip side, a rapid increase in income or wealth
There’s no denying the awkward and uncomfortable nature of postnuptial agreements. While the conversations surrounding the legal aspects of tying the knot aren’t always pleasant, taking the time to have such discussions with your spouse signals maturity and a willingness to protect your marriage.
Likewise, having a lawyer present to help draw up your postnuptial contract can help you look at your financial situation from an objective perspective so nobody feels attacked or pressured into hasty decisions.
Interested in Learning More About Postnuptial Agreements?
Considering that so many marriages end in divorce, it never hurts to at least sit down with your spouse and discuss financial matters from a legal perspective. Whether you’re interested in coming up with a postnuptial contract or simply want to ask a few questions about the process, feel free to contact us today.