What is a postnuptial agreement?
Postnuptial agreements include the same kinds of provisions as prenuptial agreements, the primary difference is that a prenup is entered into before a marriage, whereas postnuptial agreements are entered into after the couple has already married.
The following are key features most commonly used in Postnuptial Agreements:
Identify and define what is separate and community property
Separate property includes the assets you own before your marriage and also includes gifts or inheritances. Community property is defined as assets purchased or acquired by a couple during their marriage that are owned equally by both of them.
Identify and define what is separate and community debt
Your agreement will identify separate and community liabilities and how you will determine what debt is separate and what debt is part of the community. Prenuptial agreements are helpful if one spouse brings a significant amount of debt to the relationship. This feature will allow you to ensure that you won’t be responsible for your partner’s debts going into the future.
Establishing terms of Spousal Support (alimony)
Including a waiver of spousal support in your prenuptial agreement will allow you to decide upon the terms of separation as they relate to spousal support payments, also known as alimony. Otherwise these decisions are made by the court and the outcomes are uncertain.
Other common benefits of a Postnuptial Agreement:
- Supporting your estate plan and avoiding court involvement to decide property distribution.
- Protections for your family’s property.
- Documenting and detailing any special arrangements between you and your spouse.
- Avoid extended court proceedings, which results in the time of expensive divorce attorneys.
- Reducing conflicts during a divorce.
- Establishing procedures and rules for issues that may arise in the future.
- Provisions providing for children from previous relationships.
- Including a sunset provision that designates a certain point in time when the prenup will no longer be in effect.