Gone are the days when only the wealthy benefit from prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. More people than ever are using prenuptial and postnuptial agreements to protect themselves in their assets. Postnuptial agreements are not as well-known as prenuptial agreements, but are just as important. Spouses can sign a postnuptial agreement during their marriage.
Sometimes, the spouses did not have time to sign a prenuptial agreement or were not prepared to do so before entering a marriage. In other cases, a situation may arise that requires a post-nuptial agreement, such as one of the spouses purchasing a business or inheriting a substantial amount of money. Whatever your situation, there are several reasons why you could benefit from a postnuptial agreement. It is never too late to sign a postnuptial agreement.
- You Have Financial Concerns
Sometimes people sign post-nuptial agreements because they have financial concerns. These concerns might have come about due to information one spouse learned once they got married or lingering concerns from before the marriage. There are many different reasons that people do not get a prenuptial agreement, but it is always wise to consider getting a postnuptial agreement if you have financial concerns. Suppose a husband finds out that his wife has $20,000 in credit card debt. Or, suppose a wife discovers that her husband has been hiding a gambling addiction and is $15,000 in debt. In these types of situations, it can be wise to protect yourself through a postnuptial agreement.
- You and Your Spouse Have Unequal Assets
In some cases, one spouse earns significantly more than the other spouse. Or, one spouse may enter the marriage with significantly more assets than the other spouse. In the event of a divorce, the spouse with your assets made seek to take a higher percentage of the marital assets. The spouse with more assets may want a postnuptial agreement to ensure that should they divorce, he or she will still have enough money to get through retirement, raise children, and not become financially insecure.
- This is Your Second or Third Marriage
Many times, when one or both spouses have been married before, they could benefit from a postnuptial agreement. When spouses marry later in life, they may wish to preserve the assets they bring into the marriage for their children or grandchildren. Perhaps they want to make sure that their children and grandchildren from before the subsequent marriage receive their assets. Completing a postnuptial agreement can be a great way to come to an agreement about how you would like to divide up your assets should you divorce.
- You Have Inherited Money or Assets
When one spouse inherits assets during the marriage, he or she may wish to create a postnuptial agreement. When you do so, you can ensure that the court will view your inheritance as a separate asset, not subject to division as marital property. Should a divorce happen, you will receive your inheritance, not your spouse. You may have concerns about your spouse using these funds during your marriage for things you do not agree to do, such as buying a new home or investing the money. Creating a postnuptial agreement can help you protect the money you have inherited and come to an understanding with your spouse regarding the inheritance should you become divorced.
- You Have Made a Large Purchase of Property or a Business
In some cases, one spouse may decide to purchase a large piece of property or business. When a couple uses one spouse’s funds to purchase a home, renovate a home, purchase a vacation home, or purchase a business, difficulties can arise. You may have concerns about who will get the financial benefit of the investment should you ever divorce. If you want to use funds to purchase your home, it is wise to set up a postnuptial agreement and determine how the property will be divided, should you become divorced.
In other words, if you have put a large amount of your own money into purchasing a house, you do not want a court to separate the equity in the house and give your spouse half of it. Additionally, if you put your own money into starting a business and work alone at that business for the next 15 years, you may not want your spouse to receive half of the business you have grown over the last decade and a half. Creating a postnuptial agreement can prevent this from happening.
Have You Put Off Creating a Postnuptial Agreement?
In some cases, couples intended to sign a prenuptial agreement, but they never got around to it. Perhaps they could not agree about dividing the property up, or perhaps they simply ran out of time. In some cases, the parties decide to back out of the prenuptial agreement because one or both spouses feel too much pressure or feel uneasy about signing the agreement.
It is never too late to create a postnuptial agreement. As long as you are still married, you still have the option of signing a postnuptial agreement. We have listed just some of the reasons that couples decide to write a postnuptial agreement. Every marriage is unique, and it is important to remember that different issues will arise that can be effectively addressed in a postnuptial agreement. An experienced family law attorney can review your situation and advise you about your best option going forward.
Contact Our Experienced Postnuptial Lawyers Today
If you are considering signing a postnuptial agreement, we would love to speak with you. We will review your situation, learn about your goals, and create an effective and thorough postnuptial agreement. Contact the experienced lawyers at Thomas Weiss & Associates today to schedule your initial consultation and learn how to help you create an effective postnuptial agreement.