Postnuptial Agreements

While a prenuptial agreement is drafted before the marriage takes place, sometimes a couple that is already married may face issues they did not expect that lead them to sign a postnuptial agreement. Similar to a prenuptial, the postnuptial is often used to deal with a couple's financial issues in the event of the dissolution of a marriage. This agreement must be written and signed by both parties and in some cases will need to be notarized. There are rare instances where an oral agreement has been considered but this is typically not enough. The contract between the two parties must be fair for both of them, and done by their own will.

All aspects of the prenuptial must be shown up front and if anything is hidden or it is proven that the contract was unfair, a judge may choose to invalidate the agreement. The prenuptial agreement was not well received when it was first introduced. The original issue was that a married couple was viewed to have been united as one and you cannot enter into a contract with yourself. It also was believed to encourage divorce, and therefore was looked down upon.

With the growing rate of divorce in the later 1900s, its popularity grew, and though today it is not as well received as a prenuptial, more and more courts are beginning to accept it. A postnuptial agreement can be useful in many situations; for example, if after a couple enters into a marriage they see their spouse has a gambling or spending problem. A postnuptial can be a way to protect themselves. Like a prenuptial, it is also useful for business owners. They may have one drawn up so that their spouse can assist in the business, but if the face divorce, the spouse will not have authority in their personal business. There are many uses for a postnuptial agreement; many of which are similar to why couples choose to sign a prenuptial. If a couple elects to have one, they should contact an attorney who can help ensure they are both protected.

Click here to find a family law attorney who can help.