Many marital or nuptial agreements are prenuptial agreements that an engaged couple signs prior to marriage. Couples can also draft postnuptial agreements after getting married. These agreements address many of the same issues, including what assets the couple wants to regard as separate property and how to handle certain issues in the event of a divorce.
There are many reasons why people may decide they need a nuptial agreement after already solemnizing their relationship. If you have experienced any of the three situations below, talking to your spouse about a postnuptial agreement might be a good decision.
You have achieved significant career success
You have recently accepted a lucrative contract or are about to begin a business, a postnuptial agreement allows you to clarify what interests and rights your spouse will have regarding your income or your company.
Provided that both of you received valuable consideration when signing, a postnuptial agreement will make it easier for you to protect your future success from a possible divorce. Having these terms in writing can also deter someone from filing a divorce solely for the potential financial gain.
You have recently inherited something of value
You usually don’t have to divide inherited assets in a divorce. However, sharing your inheritance with your spouse limits your ability to protect those assets in a divorce.
If you inherit a house that you want to live in with your spouse or resources that you want to share with them, a postnuptial agreement can allow you to be generous with your spouse without endangering your inheritance if you later divorce.
You have experienced a real obstacle in your marriage
Good fortune isn’t the only reason to draft a postnuptial agreement. Some people need protection from misfortune and relationship issues.
If one spouse cheats, if they try to hide financial misconduct from the other or if a couple has started to consider divorce, a postnuptial agreement can be beneficial. It allows the set certain rules in case they do divorce and can protect the spouses when they choose to stay and try to work on their marriage.