Prenuptial agreements have become commonplace, but they may not have been normal when you got married. You may also not have had many assets or situations that made you think a marital agreement was necessary for you and your spouse.
Now, after years of marriage and possibly some hardships, or the recent or future planned acquisition of major assets, you might find yourself wishing you had signed a prenuptial agreement. Thankfully, postnuptial agreements are also legally binding marital agreement that can hold up in family court.
These documents offer a lot of compelling benefits, including the three below, all of which might serve to convince your spouse that an agreement is beneficial for your current family situation.
A postnuptial agreement clarifies ownership for your assets or debts
Maybe your spouse desperately wants to take out a business loan and try their hand at running an ice cream shop and you don’t want any responsibility for that debt if you divorce. Perhaps you recently inherited several pieces of real estate or a large investment account from your parents.
When you have valuable assets that belong to only one spouse or when one spouse intends to take a significant financial risk, postnuptial agreements can protect the couple by making it clear who owns what and who is responsible for what within the household.
A postnuptial agreement can create an incentive for better behavior
Sometimes people consider a postnuptial agreement because they feel like divorce is imminent. Discovering a long-term extramarital affair or a huge amount of gambling debt might make you think that divorce is the only way to protect yourself.
A postnuptial agreement can protect a spouse endangered by the bad decisions of their partner. It can also create consequences for the spouse with problematic behavior. Reducing one spouse’s share of the marital assets or altering the terms for spousal support are common incentives or punishments that couples include in postnuptial agreements.
Knowing that there could be a consequence could help motivate someone to act more appropriately.
If you do get divorced, a postnup will keep it reasonable
Couples often cause emotional damage to themselves and their children by fighting aggressively over the terms of their divorce. They also diminish their marital estate by spending a large amount of time litigating the terms for the dissolution of their marriage.
A postnuptial agreement can make things a lot easier for your whole family if a divorce is what eventually occurs. Your agreement can lead to an uncontested divorce filing that is calmer, cheaper and far more private than a litigated divorce. Whether you think you will likely divorce or hope to save your marriage, the benefits of a postnuptial agreement could help your family during a difficult time.