Postnuptial agreements are not as well-known as prenuptial agreements, but they serve much the same purpose. Both types of agreements get couples to discuss and resolve financial issues. The major difference is timing since post-nuptial agreements are signed at some point during the marriage. Most couples who decide on a post-nup are often otherwise happily married. Money or property simply is the primary source of conflict for them.
Financial matters are one of the biggest causes of conflict in marriage. Unfortunately, many couples are uncomfortable discussing money because of fear, shame, lack of understanding of finances or other reasons. As a result, they end up fighting as opposed to working together to achieve their goals. A post-nuptial agreement can help by forcing spouses to raise important financial concerns. During the process, they must decide on issues such as how to handle separate and joint income, expenses, assets, and debts during marriage and in the event of death or divorce. A post-nup can also set out rights to spousal support during and after the marriage.
These issues are particularly important if there is a big income and/or 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. Through a well-drafted and considered post-nuptial agreement, spouses can effectively establish their own standards in the event of a divorce or death, instead of allowing the law and the courts to dictate what they can or cannot do with their assets.
A post-nuptial agreement can be an effective tool to address concerns over money while you have a solid marriage and are committed to resolving problems together. However, like any contract, it should be negotiated and reviewed by an experienced attorney who can protect your interests. If you are considering a post-nuptial agreement, please contact our NYC office to find out how we can help.
If you are not married yet, learn more about prenuptial agreements.