You and your spouse didn’t get a prenuptial agreement before you married. There’s still a way to protect your financial future in the event of a divorce. It’s called a postnuptial agreement.
Some people are incentivized to get a postnup if they believe they may be headed toward divorce. However, it’s typically best to draw one up while things are going well. This can make negotiations a lot easier and more amicable.
Why bother with a postnup if you and your spouse are still in a state of wedded bliss years after you tied the knot? Won’t even suggesting one rock the boat?
To answer the second question first, you need to be careful about how you broach the subject. A postnup should protect both people. Like a prenup, it should never be one-sided. It can alleviate nagging concerns, which ultimately can make a marriage stronger.
For example, say that one spouse has decided to stay home and raise the kids while the other one has built a successful business. The stay-at-home spouse may be concerned that if the marriage were to end, they’d be thrust into the workplace unprepared with little financial cushion.
A postnup can detail things like asset division and spousal support. The spouse who’s become the higher earner can also seek provisions that will help ensure that they don’t have to hand over the bulk of the money they’ve worked so hard for.
Some couples get a postnup to help alleviate ongoing financial battles and concerns during their marriage. For example, one spouse may have developed an expensive gambling habit or a taste for Italian sports cars. The other spouse is understandably stewing about this. They don’t want to be stuck with half or more of their debts if the marriage ends. A postnup can spell out what debts each spouse will be required to cover.
Negotiating a postnuptial agreement that both spouses feel is fair can be challenging. Each should have their own attorney advising them. This can help ensure that neither is taken advantage of or agrees to terms they don’t feel comfortable with or fully understand. An experienced family law attorney can provide you with valuable guidance.