Many of my clients come to me asking if there is any point when it is too late to get a postnuptial agreement, and the answer to this question is no, it’s never too late. A common misunderstanding by many couples and individual spouses that I meet with is that nuptial agreements can only be made before the wedding, hence the “pre-“ in “pre-nuptial”. And while a prenuptial agreement is most commonly suggested, couples who have already married can still draft an acceptable marital agreement, known as a postnuptial agreements.
Just like with a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement can guarantee that the interests of both parties are protected if there ever is a divorce. Prenuptials and postnuptials both permit the spouses to make the big decisions regarding distribution of marital property and asset protection, as opposed to a judge. Postnuptial agreements may also help settlement with respect to who is accountable for certain liabilities, for example credit cards or student loans after a divorce are financial liabilities.
Postnuptial agreements can be drafted and legitimized at any time during the marriage, even if the spouses are newly weds or if they’ve been married for over 15 years. Postnuptial agreements are perfect for couples that have faced a lot of changes in their relationship, a change in financial status, or perhaps both. Postnuptials are very useful for couples that have children from a previous marriage, because they’ll be able to guarantee that the interests of said children will be protected along with their own.
Postnuptial agreements detail the rights as well as the responsibilities for the spouses during the marriage, and after the marriage in the case of divorce. This agreement varies by situation.
Many think that these agreements are only for wealthy couples, and this is not the case at all. Most couples can benefit from a postnuptial agreement regardless of their financial status. Accumulating these draft agreements early gives couples the opportunity to work out some issues that often cause turmoil in the marriage, leading to a divorce.
For a marriage that eventually ends, a postnuptial can soften the proceedings. The agreement has taken care of the majority of important issues, which allows you and your attorney to be able to deal with any other problems that could arise. This can make the divorce proceedings get finished quickly, instead of dragging out the proceedings, saving money and energy, both mentally and emotionally.