Nearly everyone is familiar with prenuptial agreements – or prenups. But not as many people are aware that there are also post-nuptial agreements.
What is this document, and do couples need them?
A post-nuptial is agreed to after a couple is already married; like a pre-nuptial, it details the division of assets if the marriage ends in divorce. It also covers:
- Alimony, also known as maintenance and/or spousal support. The agreement specifies which spouse pays, how much, and for how long.
- This clarifies who is responsible for mortgages, credit cards, loans, and other debts.
- The agreement specifies how to divide assets if one spouse dies during the marriage.
- Custody, also known as Allocation of Parenting Time and Responsibility. This clarifies which parent would have physical custody of the parties’ children and the parenting time schedule that would be put in place.
- Child Support. This would put in place how child support would be calculated or an amount the parties agree to.
- Contribution to out of pocket costs for the minor children. This would allocate the responsibility to each party for the minor children’s out of pocket expenses for medical, education, extracurricular and daycare costs.
Why might someone seek a post-nuptial?
They could simply want to bring clarification to their financial responsibilities and rights to property, businesses, etc. or, they could be contemplating the possibility of divorce and drafting a postnuptial agreement would be much more cost and time efficient and would cause less drama and emotional trauma for the family, especially those with children.
For example, Spouse A is an impulsive spender and uses the marital assets in a reckless or out-of-control manner. Spouse B may recognize that this is a significant problem and wish to enter into an agreement; if they divorce, Spouse B is safeguarded by the terms of the agreement.
Is a post-nuptial always a good idea? Not necessarily. Say Spouse B earns a lower income and agrees to terms that would impair the amount of alimony they may receive. If they divorce, they may be bound to those terms and receive less in terms of alimony, property, and assets per their agreement than if they had litigated or negotiated through the court system.
This is just one of the many reasons that it is essential to consult with an experienced attorney before signing any sort of agreement. You want to ensure that your rights are protected, and that, should you divorce, you are not treated unfairly. Kiswani Law represents your interests; our team can draft an agreement that is satisfactory and that protects you in case your marriage ends through divorce. Call us today for a free consultation and how we can help you draft and negotiate your Post Nuptial Agreement.