Maxwell Hills | October 5, 2022 | Prenuptial Agreement
Getting married is a big decision. It’s a commitment of love and faithfulness that should be entered into with open eyes and a clear understanding of what’s to come. One question that often arises for couples considering marriage is whether or not they should get a prenuptial agreement.
Prenups can be helpful in many situations, but they’re not right for everyone, and their timing may be an important factor to consider. Some individuals may decide after the fact that a prenup would have been beneficial and wonder if it’s too late to get one.
In this article, we’ll discuss whether you can get a prenuptial agreement after getting married, what the process entails, and some things to keep in mind if you’re considering this option.
What is a Postnuptial Agreement?
While prenuptial agreements are most commonly used by couples who are about to get married, postnuptial agreements can be used by couples who are already married or in a civil partnership. In fact, postnuptial agreements can be beneficial for any couple who wants to lay out a plan for what will happen to their finances if their relationship ends.
What Is Included in the Postnuptial Agreement?
Couples have many different reasons for wanting to create a postnuptial agreement. Some couples simply want to avoid the hassle (and expense) of going through a lengthy divorce process if their marriage does eventually come to an end. Others may want to use a postnup as a way to protect themselves financially in the event of a divorce. And still, others may use a postnuptial agreement as part of their estate planning.
While the specifics of a postnuptial agreement will vary depending on the couple’s needs and wishes, there are some key components that are typically included.
One of the most important components of a postnuptial agreement is a clause detailing how assets will be divided in the event of a divorce. This can help to avoid costly and time-consuming arguments in court if the couple does eventually divorce.
Another common clause in a postnuptial agreement is an alimony provision. This provision outlines whether one spouse will be required to pay alimony to the other in the event of a divorce. If this clause is included, it can help to avoid difficult discussions about alimony later on.
What Makes a Valid Postnuptial Agreement?
In order for a postnuptial agreement to be valid, it must meet certain legal requirements.
Both spouses must voluntarily agree to sign the agreement. This means that neither spouse can be forced or coerced into signing it. The terms of the agreement also must be fair and reasonable. If a court finds that the terms of the agreement are unfair or unreasonable, those terms may be voided. Both spouses are also responsible for fully disclosing their financial assets and debts to each other before signing the agreement. This is important because it helps ensure that each spouse knows what they agree to. Without full disclosure, an agreement may not be enforceable.
Pros and Cons of a Postnuptial Agreement
While a postnuptial agreement can provide financial stability and peace of mind, it is not right for every couple. Below are some pros and cons of postnuptial agreements to consider.
Protection of Business Assets
As a business owner, you may be worried about your spouse getting a share of the business if you divorce. A postnuptial agreement can help to prevent this by specifying that the business is not considered marital property.
Peace of Mind
A postnuptial agreement can provide peace of mind by spelling out what will happen to your assets in the event of a divorce. This can help to avoid difficult conversations and arguments down the road.
Saves Money on Legal Fees
If you and your spouse do divorce eventually, a postnuptial agreement can save you both time and money on legal fees. This is because the terms of the agreement will already be spelled out, so there will be no need to go to court to argue about them.
Postnuptial agreements are not right for every couple. Below are some potential downsides to consider.
Can Cause Resentment
Creating a postnuptial agreement can cause tension and resentment between spouses. This is because the process of creating the agreement can be intrusive, and it can make couples feel like they need to justify their assets to each other.
May Not Be Enforceable
If a postnuptial agreement does not meet all of the legal requirements, it may not be enforceable in court. This means that if you do divorce, you may end up having to go through the normal property division process anyway. To ensure that your agreement is valid, be sure to consult with an experienced attorney.
Can Be Challenging to Change
Once a postnuptial agreement is signed, it can be very difficult to make changes to it. This is because the agreement is a legally binding contract. If you want to make changes to the agreement, you and your spouse will need to agree to those changes and sign a new agreement.
Legal Considerations of a Postnuptial Agreement
Each state has its own laws governing postnuptial agreements. In some states, such as Florida, the agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties in order to be enforceable. Other states, like California, require that the agreement be notarized. Be sure to check the requirements for your state before drafting your agreement.
Even if your state does not require a postnuptial agreement to be in writing, it is still advisable to put it in writing. This will help to avoid any disputes about what was agreed upon later on. Additionally, certain issues cannot be addressed in a postnuptial agreement, such as child custody and support, alimony, and division of property acquired during the marriage. These issues can only be decided by a court.
Is a Postnuptial Agreement Right for You?
When considering a postnuptial agreement, it is important to weigh the pros and cons carefully. This agreement is a legally binding contract, so be sure to consult with an experienced attorney before signing anything.
While a postnuptial agreement can provide financial stability and peace of mind, it is not right for every couple. Either way, it is important to be aware of the potential downsides of such an agreement before making any decisions.