In a previous blog post, we discussed some reasons that you may want to sign a prenuptial agreement before getting married. But what if you are already married? In these cases, you may consider a postnuptial agreement. However, you may be unsure of when this type of agreement is appropriate. There are some reasons that you may want to consider discussing this type of agreement with your spouse.
Why Should You Sign a Postnuptial Agreement?
Most everyone has heard of a prenup, and these types of agreements have become increasingly more common. However, as their name implies, prenuptial agreements can only be signed before getting married. For those who are already married, a postnuptial agreement can function in a similar fashion, and it can include decisions about a couple’s marriage and their potential divorce. A postnup can address the division of property and debt and the allocation of investments and retirement funds, and it can modify or eliminate a spouse’s right to receive alimony/spousal support.
There are many reasons to sign a postnuptial agreement, and some of them are actually quite surprising. Here is a look at why you might want to sign a postnup:
You Do Not Want Another Stressor Before Marriage—From sending out invitations to arranging the ceremony and reception, there is a lot to do in the days leading up to marriage. While a wedding is a joyous occasion, it can also be one of the most stressful times in someone’s life. Working with your partner and a lawyer to develop plans for a potential divorce through a prenuptial agreement seems like a counterintuitive, unhappy area of focus during this time. Many people avoid prenuptial agreements altogether simply because they are too busy or too stressed out already. A postnuptial agreement can give you time to recuperate from the stress of the wedding itself before discussing the possibility of divorce.
You and Your Spouse Will Have a Better Idea of What to Expect—If you wait until you have spent some time together as husband and wife, the two of you may have a better understanding of your expectations for the rest of your life. You may also have a better understanding of each other, including how you two will work together as a couple, what areas are more important to each of you, and whether you are willing to make certain concessions in specific areas if you get divorced.
Your Financial Situation Has Changed Significantly—Maybe you have started a new business, and your profits are set to exceed expectations, or perhaps a recent investment has shown vast improvement. In the years since you got married, you may now own significant property, such as a house, cars, or a yacht, or you may have received a sizeable inheritance, and you are particularly worried about keeping it. Also, either spouse may have incurred debt or student loans during your marriage that the other spouse does not want to be responsible for. Any number of things could have changed with your finances after marriage, and a postnuptial agreement can address these issues.
You Never Planned on Having Children Together, But Now You Do—When you first got married, you may have both assumed kids were out of the question. You may have felt that a prenup was unnecessary because a divorce would be relatively uncomplicated. However, things can change as time goes by, and you may be planning to have children or have had them already. With kids in the picture, your priorities have likely changed, and a postnuptial agreement may allow you to address some of the financial issues that you are now worried about in the event of a possible divorce.
It Could Save Your Marriage—Probably the most surprising—and increasingly popular—reason to get a postnuptial agreement is that it could help improve a relationship. If both spouses are keenly aware of what they stand to lose if they cannot get their marriage to work, then they will be more motivated to stay together. In fact, some spouses have used a postnuptial agreement as a tool to keep each other dedicated to the fidelity of their marriage.
Contact a Wheaton Postnuptial Agreement Attorney
If you and your spouse did not sign a prenuptial agreement, it is not too late to address your concerns and make decisions about how things would be handled in the case of divorce. To learn more about how a postnuptial agreement can meet your needs, contact a DuPage County family law attorney who can help you two get organized and develop a detailed and comprehensive agreement that will stand up in court and withstand the test of time. Reach out to Andrew Cores Family Law Group at 630-871-1002 today for your complimentary consultation.