Although many family law attorneys recommend that all couples get a prenuptial agreement before tying the knot, many couples don't. They may be just starting out, with relatively few assets, or they may not like the idea of planning for divorce before they've even gotten married.
Circumstances and fortunes change during marriage. That's where a postnuptial agreement can be advantageous. It's similar to a prenup in that it codifies things like distribution of assets and debts and spousal support if the couple divorces. It can also spell out how property acquired both as a couple and individually during the marriage will be divided.
There are a number of reasons why couples opt for postnups. One or both spouses could be concerned that divorce is on the horizon. However, negotiating a postnup if your marriage is on the rocks will likely be more difficult than doing it when all is going smoothly.
When an Imbalance of Assets Develops During the Marriage
Many couples get a postnup if one spouse is earning considerably more money than the other. Of course, getting the other spouse to agree to a postnup that doesn't provide an equal share of those assets can be a challenge unless he or she gets something in return.
If one spouse has left the workforce to raise the children, it may be wise for that person to seek a postnup. It can help ensure that they will be taken care of financially after a divorce, at least until they can acquire the education or work experience to become self-supporting.
If one spouse starts or inherits a business after the marriage, many attorneys recommend getting a postnup to protect his or her interests in the business.
When One Spouse's Attitudes Toward Money Can Endanger Your Financial Future
Many couples, contrary to the advice of marriage and financial experts, don't talk about money and their attitudes towards it before they get married. That can lead to considerable conflict later on, whether they stay married or not. If one spouse is irresponsible with money, racking up debt or perhaps has a gambling problem, it may be wise for the other spouse to seek a prenup to help prevent being saddled with that debt in a divorce. It might be wise to take steps to separate some of your assets as well.
An experienced family law attorney can provide some guidance for approaching the subject of a postnup and help protect your financial interests.
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