Couples that fail to write and sign a prenuptial agreement may fear that they have no chance to protect their assets in divorce, but this is not the case. Just because you have tied the knot does not mean you cannot sign an agreement that serves the same function as a prenup.
With a postnuptial agreement, you and your spouse can work out issues like asset division, spousal support and estate plans in the event your marriage ends. Policy Genius describes some reasons why couples compose and sign a postnup.
Bad timing with a prenuptial agreement
Some couples want to draft a prenup but the wedding date is approaching. They may still have time to sign the document, but only very close to the wedding day or even just before the wedding takes place. However, a judge may rule that the couple did not have enough time to study the prenup before signing it and invalidate the agreement.
Since couples can sign postnuptial agreements after the wedding, there is no time limit to worry about. The important thing to remember is to make sure the postnup does not contain unconscionable provisions and that the document treats you and your spouse fairly.
Designating property as separate property
During divorce, couples have to divide their marital assets. Your separate assets can become subject to division if you mix them with marital property. This may be a particular concern if you come into a large inheritance. Drafting a postnuptial agreement could be beneficial by designating money and property that cannot be subject to property division if you divorce.
You can also protect your business if you choose to start one. If a divorce judge rules that your spouse has a stake in your operation, you might have to sell it off to yield proceeds for your spouse. A postnup can make it clear that your business belongs to you and that your spouse has no claims to it.
Handling money decisions
Decisions over handling money can fray a marriage, so if you plan to make a major investment that your spouse has a problem with, a postnuptial agreement may ease concerns. You can specify that your spouse will not bear any financial responsibility if you make an investment that does not work out, and vice versa.
Additionally, there are reasons unique to couples that a postnup could address. Talking over these issues with your spouse may head off serious disagreements that could harm your marriage. Even if a divorce does happen, a postnup may help get you through it quickly.