Financial issues are some of the most common causes of couples getting divorced. Planning for the future and any complications that could occur down the road can provide both parties with peace of mind. Signing a pre-or post-nuptial agreement can help protect your future while advocating for a lasting and strong marriage.
A prenuptial agreement is a contract the couple enters into before marriage that states how their assets and debts will be divided if they divorce. A postnuptial agreement is similar, except the couple signs it during the marriage. Working with an attorney can help you draft and negotiate an agreement that meets your unique needs and specific goals.
- One Spouse Has Significantly More Assets Than the Other Spouse
When one spouse enters the marriage with significantly more assets, they may benefit from a prenup or postnup agreement. An agreement can protect the spouse with more assets from losing a significant percentage of their assets should the couple get divorced. An agreement can also protect the spouse with fewer possessions from walking away with nothing, especially if that spouse will be engaging in unpaid work, such as caring for the couple’s children and household.
- Either Spouse Experiences a Financial Windfall
When one spouse experiences a financial windfall, such as lottery winnings or an inheritance, or suffers a significant financial loss, such as bankruptcy or the closure of a business venture, a postnuptial agreement can help. The agreement can protect both spouses’ assets and their financial future.
- The Spouses Considered a Prenuptial Agreement But Never Got Around to it
When the couple is interested in signing a prenuptial agreement but did not get around to drafting or signing one, but never did, a postnuptial agreement is beneficial; a postnuptial agreement can achieve similar results as a prenuptial agreement. It is crucial for couples who choose a postnuptial agreement to have an experienced attorney assisting them. There are state-specific laws that need to be taken into account.
- A Spouse Has Children From a Previous Marriage
If one of the partners has children from a previous marriage, signing a postnuptial agreement can ensure that all of the heirs maintain their inheritance rights should the couple divorce. For example, if there are special sentimental items or family heirlooms that parents want to remain in their children’s hands, a postnuptial agreement can help ensure those goals are met.
- Either Spouse Has Significant Debts
Many American families have significant debt, with the average family carrying $5,525 in credit card debt. American families may also have extensive medical debt and other types of debt. When one spouse has significant debts due to credit cards, gambling, overspending, or other financial problems, the other spouse’s financial future can be in jeopardy. Should the couple divorce, the spouse who did not take on the debt could be held accountable for a significant portion of that debt. Signing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can help the party who did not take on debt protect himself or herself from taking on the responsibility of part or all of their partner’s debt.
- The Couple is Considering Divorce
A postnuptial agreement could be beneficial when a couple has had conversations about getting a divorce but never signed a prenuptial agreement. Signing a postnuptial agreement can help both partners agree on how their assets and debts should be handled if a divorce occurs. Doing so can make the process much simpler and less stressful until the marriage ends. If the marriage remains, the couple will not experience any harm from creating a postnuptial agreement. The agreement can still be beneficial for estate planning.
- Peace of Mind
While a prenup or postnup agreement can be controversial or even stressful to contemplate, it can offer peace of mind. The spouse with fewer assets may feel threatened or attacked by a prenuptial agreement. However, when represented by an experienced attorney, a prenup or postnup can provide the spouse with fewer assets with financial security. Knowing you will be financially stable if you divorce or your spouse dies can provide significant peace of mind.
A postnuptial agreement may seem unromantic, but it can help couples struggling with financial differences protect their marriage. In some cases, a post-nuptial agreement helps couples stay together. If you and your spouse constantly argue with your partner about finances because your spouse gambles or overspends on shopping, you can stipulate that your partner’s debts are not your debts and vice versa. Separating finances can help you eliminate one of your main arguments to live more harmoniously.
- A Prenump or Postnump Provides You a Way Out
Many couples want to avoid getting divorced when possible. However, if something ever did happen to your marriage, having the protection of a prenup or postnuptial agreement can lift you out of desperation and prevent you from staying in an unhealthy marriage for the wrong reasons. With this type of agreement in place, you will know how you will be separating your assets, what would happen to your assets and finances if you separate or divorce, and how you can provide for your children after the divorce. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can help spouses who need to leave a marriage while remaining financially protected.
- An Attorney Can Help You Protect Your Interests
Working with an attorney can help you ensure that your interests are protected through a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. If the agreement has already been drafted, an attorney can review it and point out any red flags that could hurt you in the future. If you have not yet drafted the agreement, an attorney can help you clarify your financial goals and negotiate and draft the document. Contact the attorneys at Covington Law Firm, PLLC, to schedule a free consultation and help you create an effective prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.