Considering a Postnuptial Agreement? Here is What You Need to Know.
Postnuptial agreements can protect the finances of married partners. If a couple is struggling with a breach of trust or other challenges, establishing a postnuptial agreement provides a measure of security during the healing process.
If the marriage ends in divorce or when one partner passes away, the terms outlined in a postnuptial agreement reduce uncertainty and prevent many potential conflicts. Before entering into a postnuptial agreement, however, both partners should understand some essential facts.
Postnuptial Agreements Can Cover a Range of Issues
A postnuptial agreement is a contract between spouses, and it can establish arrangements over several different circumstances. Typical issues settled in a postnuptial agreement include:
- Securing inheritance rights for children from prior relationships
- Determining whether a business belongs solely to one partner or is owned by both, and how ownership and control will be handled
- Settling ownership interests in various assets acquired before or during the marriage, and how those assets would be divided in a divorce or at death
- Establishing whether certain debts are the responsibility of one partner individually or both jointly
Couples cannot include provisions regarding custody or support for children in the event of divorce. These issues are decided based on the children’s best interests rather than an advance agreement establishing parents’ preferences. In addition, including a provision related to payment of spousal support may be found to be invalid if the circumstances of the couple are significantly different at the time of the divorce than they were when the postnuptial agreement was signed.
Full Disclosure is Required
For a postnuptial agreement to be valid, both parties must agree voluntarily with no coercion. Moreover, they must have a full understanding of their financial situation, including income, assets, and debts. In addition, both parties should have competent counsel to negotiate in their best interests.
The disclosure required for a postnuptial agreement helps each partner assess the realities of their situation, and it can lead to increased cooperation during the decision-making process.
Which Couples Should Consider a Postnuptial Agreement?
A postnuptial agreement can help strengthen any marriage, but there are some situations where it is particularly advantageous for couples to protect their rights with a postnuptial agreement. If one partner has run up gambling debts or done something else to cause the other partner to lose faith in them, a postnuptial agreement can settle the obligations between them and protect the other partner’s interests. This provides a safe space from which the parties can begin to rebuild their trust.
Where one or both partners own a business or have significant wealth, an agreement can preserve their rights and provide a sense of security. If there are children from a prior relationship, an agreement can establish their rights concerning the family property.
Let Batley Family Law Group Protect Your Interests with a Postnuptial Agreement
At Batley Family Law, we understand that every decision in every relationship is influenced by numerous unique factors. To protect our client’s interests, we take the time to understand their full range of needs so we can create custom agreements tailored to meet those needs now and in the future.
We invite you to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss whether a postnuptial agreement might be right for your situation.
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