While you may be familiar with the intricacies of prenuptial agreements, many individuals are unaware of the importance of postnuptial agreements and what they mean for couples going through a divorce. Here, the Maryland divorce attorneys at Rodier Family Law provide an overview of postnuptial agreements as well as the differences and similarities between prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
What is a Postnuptial Agreement?
A postnuptial agreement, or postmarital agreement, is a legal document for married couples that establishes how a couple’s assets will be divided in the event the couple goes through a divorce. A postnuptial agreement can specify the amount of spousal support one spouse will pay to another spouse in the event of a divorce. A postnuptial agreement typically includes similar provisions to prenuptial agreements, with some variations. For instance, while prenuptial agreements are outlined before a marriage begins, postnuptial agreements are outlined after a couple is married, so these agreements will include assets acquired during the marriage.
What is the Purpose of a Postnuptial Agreement?
Postnuptial agreements typically include how assets will be divided if the couple later divorce as well as how marital debts will be divided. Debts can include credit card debt, mortgage loans and other outstanding loans the couple may share. Postnuptial agreements can even include how assets will be distributed in the event that one spouse dies during the marriage and whether or not the couple was in the midst of divorce proceedings during the time of the spouse’s death. In the event that the couple has children together, postnuptial agreements can even include child support and child custody provisions. A postnuptial agreement can also resemble a separation agreement and can establish the terms of child support and child custody and may be helpful in reducing the time and stress of a divorce if the couple eventually decides to do so—this is because the provisions in a postnuptial agreement can be incorporated in a divorce decree later on.
What Scenarios May Prompt Couples to Consider Drafting a Postnuptial Agreement?
Postnuptial agreements can be uncomfortable to discuss with your partner, as they deal with sensitive topics like finances and child support as well as the possibility that the relationship may not last. While it may be difficult to bring up such a sensitive topic to your partner, it is important to establish a plan in the event of a worst-case scenario so you can be prepared financially and emotionally. In other words, just because you and your partner wish to discuss creating a postnuptial agreement does not mean that you are considering getting a divorce. It may simply mean that you want to establish a groundwork for how your property or assets will be distributed as a way to be proactive about the future. Creating a postnuptial agreement is also a viable means of protecting your children’s assets and inheritances, especially if you or your spouse have children from previous relationships.
Speak to a Family Law Attorney at Rodier Family Law About Creating a Postnuptial Agreement
While it may be difficult to discuss preparing your assets and spousal support in case of a future divorce, it is always advisable to prepare for the future and protect your finances in the event that the worst occurs. If you would like to learn more about creating a postnuptial agreement with your partner, discuss your options with a dedicated family law attorney at Rodier Family Law, who can help you prepare a postnuptial agreement that is suitable for you and your family.