Couples who did not form a prenuptial agreement before marriage could be vulnerable financially. Fortunately, a postnuptial agreement is still an option. The team at Batley Family Law in Albuquerque, New Mexico, can help you plan and draft this agreement.
What Is a Postnuptial Agreement?
While a prenuptial agreement is signed before marriage, a postnuptial agreement is made after a couple has already gotten married. Spouses might have initially avoided a prenuptial agreement thinking it was not necessary but changing circumstances or post-honeymoon realities can make spouses realize that no matter how good things seem to be, , it is still a good idea to protect one’s assets and to clarify what each party’s intentions are regarding their money and assets.
The provisions in a postnuptial may include the following:
- Division of assets. Assets commonly include real estate, investment holdings such as stocks and bonds, but assets can be anything of value, including a designer purse collection.
- Martial debts. Like the process of assigning and dividing assets, the same determinations about who gets what needs to be done with deciding who will be responsible for debts.
- Spousal support. An agreement may provide that one spouse gets support in the event of a divorce, including specific terms. Alternatively, you could specify that neither spouse gets support. This provision will likely only be enforced by a Court if it is fair and reasonable to both parties.
- Death. No one likes to think about death, but not having a proper plan can create massive headaches and even put your assets at risk. Specifically, a postnuptial agreement that has a death provision will formalize how a Will should be executed if the death occurs during divorce proceedings.
Requirements for Enforcemen
An oral agreement may be enforceable in some legal matters, but that is not the case with postnuptial agreements. For a postnuptial agreement to be valid and enforceable, it must meet these requirements:
- In writing
- Signed by both parties
- Entered without coercion
- Full disclosure of financials when the agreement is drafted
- Include specific terms
4 Reasons Couples Get Postnuptial Agreements in New Mexico
Postnuptial agreements have become increasingly common in recent years as the fabric of our society evolves, and different needs arise in long-term relationships. The reasons couples seek a postnuptial agreement usually falls within the following four categories:
1. They did not form a prenuptial agreement.
Whether it’s months or years after marriage, couples might decide that it is time to clarify what will happen if things do not work out. It is a strategic and practical move that can help both spouses feel more secure in the relationship.
2. One or both spouses are wealthy.
Instead of splitting things down the middle or embarking on a bitter battle about who gets what, you will save time, money, and heartache by spelling things out before emotions and anger get in the way.
Even if both spouses have ample means, a postnuptial gives them the option to keep anything they brought into the marriage instead of being forced to divide it or give it up.
3. One or both spouses own a business.
A divorce can lead to the liquidation of assets when assets are split, and this includes a business. If one or both spouses own a business, you should be specific in the postnup to ensure that the company will not get sold off.
4. There are children from previous relationships.
It can be important to ensure that your children get the inheritance you planned for them to receive in blended families.
Contact an Experienced New Mexico Postnuptial Agreement Lawyer
It is never too late to draft a postnuptial agreement, and your marriage does not have to be in trouble for you to decide that now is the right time to get one. Postnups have the advantage of ensuring that there is an agreement in place in the event of marriage dissolution, and they can prevent costly legal battles down the road.
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