Being married means building a future with another person and trying to make sure your goals are aligned and you work toward those goals as a team. For most couples, there is a fair bit of planning that goes into determining those goals and what is the best approach for them to reach those goals together. Couples will typically pool their efforts and their resources for those objectives. There are some situations when the parties may not agree or simply wish to be clear about how they have decided to treat their assets. A postnuptial agreement can help accomplish this.
Although most people have heard of a prenuptial agreement, not as many have heard of a postnuptial agreement. A postnuptial can accomplish many of the same goals as a prenuptial agreement. With the postnuptial agreement, you and your spouse can make decisions about how particular property will be treated in the event of a divorce. One of the more common reasons couples may use a postnuptial agreement would be if one of the spouses is about to receive a large inheritance. In general, property acquired through inheritance during a marriage is treated as separate property and is not subject to division in a divorce. However, that can change if the parties commingle their assets or use the inheritance for a marital asset (such as paying of the mortgage on the marital residence). With a postnuptial agreement the parties can outline how the inheritance will be treated in a divorce regardless of whether the funds are commingled, used on a marital asset, or otherwise becomes marital property. Another common reason to use a postnuptial agreement is if a spouse is planning to start a business. Using a postnuptial agreement means the parties can specifically set out whether the spouse who is not part of the business will receive any portion of the business in the divorce. Similarly, if the parties start the business together, it can outline whether the business will be divided or if one party agrees to surrender his or her share of the business to the other spouse.
It is also important to remember that like prenuptial agreements, there are strict requirements for a postnuptial to be valid and binding. It is important to consult with an attorney to make sure the requirements are met.
We have helped many people understand why a postnuptial agreement may be right in their case. Call us today at (320) 299-4249 to talk about your family and your future.