Prenuptial agreements were once rare, but they have become common in modern marriages. Similarly, postnuptial agreements have also risen to prominence in recent years.
Like prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements involve spouses negotiating specific terms and committing them to a contract. However, people often address different issues, as years of marriage can give rise to multiple concerns.
People create postnuptial agreements for many reasons, like saving their marriage or avoiding a messy divorce. The goal may be to pave the way for a faster divorce in the next year or even to prevent divorce. Whatever the goal, there are certain issues that married couples often decide to address in their postnuptial agreements.
One of the most frequently-cited reasons people give for creating a postnuptial agreement is concern about their spouse’s behavior. When one spouse develops a drug addiction, empties the savings account while gambling or cheats, the other spouse is in a vulnerable position.
A postnuptial agreement gives you the opportunity to address misconduct ranging from addiction to infidelity. Spouses can commit to pursuing treatment for their issues or even create penalties if they repeat their mistakes.
New or valuable property
Maybe you inherited your parents’ home and intend to live there with your spouse. However, you don’t want them commingling and a portion of the house’s value in the future if you divorce. Perhaps you are about to start a business, and you want to limit what claims your spouse can make against the business or what liability they might have for the business’s failure.
Postnuptial agreements are a useful tool for protecting assets and limiting one spouse’s liability because of the actions of the other.
How to handle various issues if you file for divorce
Even if the postnuptial agreement is a tactic intended to prevent your divorce, talking about divorce within the document is still important. By creating specific guidelines for property division, spousal support and even custody, those drafting a postnuptial agreement remove the mystery from divorce and pave the way for an uncontested filing if their marriage doesn’t recover.