While most everyone has heard of a prenuptial agreement, a post-nuptial agreement is less well-known. A post-nuptial agreement addresses the same financial issues as a prenup, but it is signed during the marriage instead of before it. Both agreements have the same benefit of getting couples to discuss and resolve financial issues which is just as, if not more important during marriage than before marriage. If you are married and find that you and your spouse have disputes over money, a post-nuptial agreement may help.
Most couples who decide on a post-nup are generally otherwise happily married. Money simply is a primary source of conflict for the couple. A post-nup will address the financial issues the parties fight over by having the parties agree on a spousal support amount, if any, and an asset distribution plan that divides the assets during the marriage as well as in the event of divorce or death. Couples can decide on a multitude of matters including:
- How will they pay for personal and household expenses or make significant purchases.
- What income, assets and debts will be “separate” as opposed to “joint”.
- How they will leave their assets in the event of death.
- What spousal support may be given during the marriage and in the event of separation or divorce.
These issues are particularly important if there is a big income/asset disparity between the spouses, one parent stops working to raise children, or there are children from a prior marriage. However, a post-nuptial agreement can help any couple. Financial matters are one of the biggest causes of conflict in marriage. Unfortunately, many couples avoid discussing money out of fear, shame, lack of understanding/feeling overwhelmed by finances or other reasons. As a result, neither party fully understands the other’s financial expectations. Consequently, the couple fights as opposed to working together to achieve their goals.
A postnuptial agreement can be an effective tool to address concerns over money while you have a solid marriage and are committed to resolving problems together.
Like a prenup, post-nuptial agreements should be carefully negotiated and vetted by an attorney for each party to ensure they are fair and address the needs of each spouse. If you are considering a post-nuptial agreement, please contact us to find out how we can help.