When to Use a Postnuptial Agreement

When to Use a Postnuptial Agreement

Postnuptial agreements are not as well known as prenuptial agreements, but they can serve several important purposes for married couples. A postnuptial agreement is typically used to decide how a married couple will treat a financial event such as acquiring new wealth or taking on significant debts.

It can be difficult for spouses to approach one another about entering into a legal contract. However, a carefully drafted postnuptial agreement can protect the financial interest of both spouses and provide peace of mind about important financial matters.

The Elements of Postnuptial Agreements

Postnuptial agreements are voluntarily agreed to by both spouses. Unlike separation agreements, postnuptial agreements can be made even when the spouses intend to remain married.

There are a few situations where postnuptial agreements are commonly used:

  • One spouse receives a large inheritance. A postnuptial agreement can be used to determine how this wealth is used and how it would be allocated in the event of a divorce.
  • One spouse takes on debts to start a business. A postnuptial agreement is used to protect the other spouse from liability for these debts.

Both spouses must be forthright about all of their financial assets and liabilities when creating a postnuptial agreement. You should always consult with a family law attorney before entering into any postnuptial agreement.

Postnuptial Agreements After Separation

Postnuptial agreements can also be used after separation. These agreements can be similar to separation agreements, but don’t require the spouses to remain separate or eventually divorce.

Why not just use a separation agreement in these situations? The spouses may still be open to reconciliation. A postnuptial agreement can settle some issues related to marital property or debts, while still leaving the door open for a resumption of marriage in the future.

Like separation agreements and premarital agreements, postnuptial agreements allow the spouses to control their financial matters and cut down on potential litigation costs if they later choose to divorce.

If you are experiencing a significant change in your financial situation, talk to a family law attorney about how a postnuptial agreement can be used to protect the interests of both spouses.

King Law Offices is a full-service law firm with an outstanding team of professionals who work diligently, creatively, and compassionately on behalf of our clients each day.  We serve the Upstate of South Carolina and Western North Carolina.  Call 888-748-KING (5464) today for a consultation with one of our dedicated family law attorneys.