Most people have heard of prenuptial agreements. A prenup is a legal contract a couple of signs before entering into a marriage that outlines how their assets will be divided in divorce or death. The last thing any happy couple wants to do is plan for their divorce before they even say, “I do.” However, not having a prenup can have serious financial ramifications if your marriage doesn’t last.
Fortunately, you and your partner can still protect your wealth and assets with a postnuptial agreement. Like a prenup, a postnup is also a legal contract that determines how to split assets in divorce or death; only you and your partner sign it after you are married. Here are a few reasons you and your spouse may wish to consider a postnuptial agreement:
You regret not signing a prenup
In the throes of your engagement and wedding planning, you may not have wanted to taint all the happiness and excitement with a complicated discussion about what happens if your marriage doesn’t last. Many people think even talking about the possibility of divorce and prenuptial agreements before their big day can jinx their marriage. Fortunately, a postnuptial agreement can still give you legal protection.
You have children from a previous marriage
Blended families with children from an earlier marriage can benefit significantly from a postnuptial agreement. Postnup agreements can predetermine the share of assets that your spouse will receive in the event of your death, ensuring that your children will receive the inheritance you want them to have. Without a postnup, your assets could end up going to your current spouse’s children and not your own.
You stay home to raise your children
It’s not uncommon for one spouse to leave the workforce to care for and raise the children they share in a marriage. However, that person is also missing out on valuable job skills and income that could leave them financially destitute in divorce. A postnuptial agreement can protect you if you have given up your career for your family.
Your partner has significant debt
If you discover after getting hitched that your partner is financially irresponsible or has a considerable amount of debt, it might be a good idea to consider a postnuptial agreement. Otherwise, you could end up responsible for a portion of their debts if your marriage dissolves.
Postnuptial agreements aren’t for everyone, but they effectively protect your assets and your children if your marriage doesn’t last. A postnup can spare you from painful divorce battles and ensure that you and your spouse have a plan for the worst-case scenario.