Understanding Postnuptials

Law Blog

Did you and your spouse forget to have a prenuptial agreement drawn up before you got married? Never fear; you can still create an agreement that fills in for or supplements a prenup. Since prenuptial agreements are permanent and cannot be changed once you are married, a postnuptial agreement addresses new issues that you never thought about before you wed. Read on to learn more about what you should consider including in your postnuptial agreement.

Focus on Finances

If you know anything about prenuptial agreements, you know that you must stick to strictly financial matters when you go about creating the agreement. So it goes with postnuptial agreements—to make it legal, only financial provisions should be considered for inclusion. Take a look at this short list of common financial areas of concern:

  • Debt
  • Property
  • Savings plans
  • Estate planning
  • Budgets
  • Retirement

What to Understand About Postnuptial Agreements

Every state will have its own rules about this type of agreement, but family law provisions govern in most cases. There are, however, a few states that use contract law to address this issue. Other than that, there are a few general, overall rules about postnuptial agreements that hold true in all states.

1. A complete disclosure of financial information is key. For example, if one spouse owns a business, a financial expert might be needed for a full understanding of the business's worth and liabilities.

2. Both spouses must be in agreement to all provisions within the postnuptial agreement and each party must consult with their attorneys before they sign it.

3. The agreement must be fair—agreements that are grossly unfair to one party may be ruled invalid.

4. Agreements that mention child custody, visitation, or child support are invalid. States reserve the right to oversee matters pertaining to minor children. Provisions that address guardians for the children or their college education are permitted, however.

What to Include in Your Postnuptial

Within the scope of financial issues, there is a wide variety of factors that influence what you put in your agreement. Your own unique circumstances will dictate what you include. If you are business owners, for example, you will want to address how a divorce will affect the business. Most people use these plans to address their saving goals and plans for budgeting. You might, for example, decide that you each will contribute 25% of your salaries to your child's college education fund.

Speak to your family attorney about making your postnuptial agreement.


7 February 2019