Ideally, you and your spouse created and signed a prenuptial agreement before marriage to avoid conflicts about finances. However, if you did not, you can still create a legally binding agreement to help settle financial disagreements. If you and your spouse are considering a postnuptial agreement, this is what you need to know.
What Is a Postnuptial?
A postnuptial agreement is signed after you are married. The agreement is a way for you and your spouse to protect your rights in the event that you end up separating or divorcing. The agreement does not have to be a source of conflict. Some couples work together to create the agreement even though there are no signs of conflict in the marriage.
What Should Be in the Agreement?
Your agreement should include what should happen with your assets and debts in the event that you and your spouse separate or divorce. For instance, you and your spouse could allow for an equitable division of all assets that are gained during the marriage. You can also opt to exclude any assets that were carried into the marriage. In essence, both you and your spouse retain sole ownership of the assets you owned prior to marriage if your separate or divorce.
Your postnuptial can also outline what happens in the event that one of you dies. It is important to note that you still need to create a will and complete your other estate planning, but your postnuptial can help build the framework for it. For instance, your postnuptial can detail what happens to your retirement plans after death.
What Should You Avoid in a Postnuptial?
Your postnuptial agreement should not include a custodial arrangement for your children. Even if you and your spouse are in full agreement about who should get custody of your children if you separate, the court might not recognize it. The idea is that one parent could change his or her mind regarding the agreement or the circumstances of each parent could change. As a result, an arrangement made during happier times might not be the best one during a divorce.
To create a solid postnuptial agreement, work with a professional attorney, like LaCroix & Hand PC. Even though you and your spouse can work with a family law attorney to create the document, both of you should have the final agreement reviewed by your own attorneys before signing. You and your spouse can ensure that the agreement is fair to both of you.