What Are Postnuptial Agreements?

Posted on: Categories: Divorce Law

Everyone has heard of a prenuptial agreement. A recent survey found that attorneys have seen an increase over the past three years in the total number of clients who are seeking prenuptial agreements. Not everyone has heard of a postnuptial agreement, however. Postnuptial agreements may be a good option for couples after they marry, for a variety of reasons. This post will provide information about postnuptial agreements,

I’ve Heard of Pre-Nuptial Agreements. What’s a Postnuptial Agreement?

Like a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement is a private contract between spouses that outlines terms for the division of assets in the event of a divorce or the other spouse’s death. Unlike prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements are undertaken after a couple has legally married.

Why Would Someone Get a Postnuptial Agreement?

Postnuptial agreements can be a smart move for many couples, regardless of whether or not they are facing difficulties in their marriage. On average, couples are marrying later in life after they have established careers and accumulated assets. Postnuptial agreements can help establish a basis of trust and respect between couples, in the form of ensuring that the hard work each partner put in prior to the relationship is protected as theirs.

Postnuptial agreements can also be a loving act for couples who want to not only clarify their mutual goals and expectations, but also protect each other in the event their relationship sours. The divorce rate in the United States is close to fifty percent, and given the Millennial generation now marrying witnessed many divorces in their childhoods, they are intimately familiar with how difficult the process divorce can be.

Finally, postnuptial agreements can be beneficial for couples whose relationships have deteriorated. They can mark the start of a new chapter as a couple works towards recommitting to each other after infidelity or other marital difficulties. Postnuptial agreements can also expedite a divorce process, making it easier for both spouses to put a difficult time behind them.

Are Postnuptial Agreements Common?

Postnuptial agreements are increasingly common. When Wendi Deng and Rupert Murdoch divorced in 2014, the process was finalized in about ten minutes thanks to a postnuptial agreement updated after the birth of each of their daughters. Seal and Heidi Klum’s postnuptial agreement ensured that Klum’s estimated $70 million fortune went entirely to Klum after they separated. Beyonce and Jay-Z are even rumored to have a postnuptial agreement with significant financial penalties for infidelity.

How Do I Get a Post-Nuptial Agreement?

Couples will want to be represented by separate lawyers, and will want to have a mutual understanding of each other’s goals and priorities for the postnuptial agreement. Couples will also want to take stock of their assets and come prepared with questions. Couples should also come prepared to have difficult, but productive, conversations.

While at first blush a postnuptial agreement may seem to have negative connotations, it can be a very loving and supportive act between you and your spouse. If you think a postnuptial agreement is right for you, or if you are interested in learning more, contact the attorneys at Blair H. Chan III, PLLC. They are experienced and able to advise you of the best option for you, and are ready to help make sure your interests and assets are represented and protected.