Some people recognize that they have unusual concerns that could complicate their marriage, so they negotiate a prenuptial agreement during their engagement. Other people only realize that there may be unusual challenges for their family after getting married.
A postnuptial agreement can serve many of the same functions as a prenuptial agreement and can help reduce the risk of conflict if a couple divorces. What sorts of marital issues do couples choose to address within post-nuptial agreements?
1. Property division matters
Have you decided to start a business or recently inherited property from your grandmother? You may want to negotiate an agreement with your spouse that allows you to protect certain property as separate assets if you divorce in the future. Those who receive a large windfall or achieve unanticipated professional success during their marriages can protect some of their property from divorce risks in a postnuptial agreement.
2. Spousal support matters
When you first got married, you may have intended for both of you to work full-time and help support the family. However, maybe you had an unexpected, later-in-life pregnancy or have recently become responsible for providing care for an aging family member. If one spouse will leave the workforce or stop focusing on their career to support the family, they may want to negotiate a postnuptial agreement that entitles them to support to save them from lost wages and earning potential if the marriage fails.
3. Protections from misconduct
Perhaps your spouse has recently developed an issue with gambling, and you want to make it clear that any gambling-related losses are not part of your marital estate. Maybe you caught your spouse cheating, but they have promised it will never happen again. You may be able to address these issues in an agreement with your spouse to deter future misconduct.
Many couples who draft postnuptial agreements will find that clarifying what will happen if they divorce and what they expect from one another during their marriage can actually improve their relationships. Exploring family law solutions for your recent marital issues could potentially help you to avoid divorce or at least reduce the stress involved if you do end up choosing to move on from your marriage.