What Married Couples Must Know About the Postnuptial Agreement

Couple undergoing counselingPrenups, or prenuptial agreements, are pretty standard contracts for marrying couples nowadays. But, have you heard about the postnup or postnuptial agreement?

Unlike prenuptial agreements, which couples enter into prior to marrying, postnuptial agreements are contracts drafted and signed after marriage or while a couple is already married.

They could be a great financial tool — even for happily married couples — that could help in smoothing out and specifying financial issues. And because financial disagreements is among the most common reasons married couples divorce, a postnuptial agreement could help keep a marriage intact.

Defining a Postnuptial Agreement

In general, a postnuptial agreement is a legally binding contract that married couples enter into. It details all marital assets and what the couple would want to happen to their marital property if they separate or get a divorce, explains a prominent family law and divorce attorney in Castle Rock.

Unfortunately, money issues are commonly cited as a huge factor when couples consider divorce. However, creating a postnuptial agreement could help relieve some of those money tensions. For instance, a postnup could do the following:

  • Serve as a guide for distribution of marital property when couples separate or divorce
  • Provide a basis for negotiating probate issues
  • Make it known that one spouse’s debt prior to marriage — a student loan, for instance — shouldn’t be marital debt

Most postnuptial agreements could likewise provide child support in case of separation or divorce. Do note, though, that state laws could prohibit certain provisions concerning child custody and support contained in a postnup, and as such could be unenforceable.

One Crucial Caveat

If you and your spouse are considering having a postnuptial contract drafted, you have to keep in mind that it’s not exactly an ironclad agreement. Even if your postnup satisfies all state requirements and becomes valid and enforceable, courts have the option to disregard some or all provisions in it.

If the court so much as suspect that the spouses or one spouse deliberately concealed financial information, the court might deem the agreement invalid. In addition, there are very stringent rules regarding the preparation, writing, and signing of a postnup.

As such, it’s best that you and your spouse get separate lawyers and have a neutral, third-party attorney look it over to ensure that everything’s in order.