Many couples don’t draw up a prenuptial agreement before they get married because they’re going into the marriage on more-or-less equal financial footing. A lot can change as the marriage goes on. however. That’s why couples sometimes believe it’s a good idea to get a postnuptial agreement.
A postnup can address the kinds of things that a prenup would, including division of assets and debts and spousal support. Getting a postnup doesn’t have to be a sign that your marriage is in trouble. In fact, it can strengthen it by helping eliminate uncertainty or fear around one or both spouses’ financial well-being should the marriage end. Like a prenup, a postnup is an insurance policy of sorts. You hope you won’t need it, but it can be valuable if you do.
So when should you consider drawing up a postnup? Let’s look at some common scenarios that make a prenup wise.
One spouse has accumulated a significant amount of money.
Maybe one spouse started their own company that has gone public and brought in millions of dollars. That spouse wants to make sure they get to keep the bulk of the money they worked so hard to earn.
One spouse leaves the job market to devote their time to parenting.
Meanwhile, the other continues to bring in a large salary. The stay-at-home parent wants to make sure that if the marriage ends, they’ll have enough money to support themselves until they can get back into the job market at the level where they left it or get enough support to continue to be a full-time parent.
One spouse has racked up considerable debts.
Whether it’s overspending, gambling or poor savings habits, a spouse who’s irresponsible with money can bring financial hardship on both partners. A spouse who doesn’t want to be stuck with half the debt their husband or wife racked up all on their own can protect themselves via a postnup.
Of course, in these instances (and others), both spouses have to agree on the terms of the postnup and both should have their own family law attorneys to make sure their interests are protected. Even if it seems like a postnup will benefit only one spouse, with experienced legal guidance, both spouses can work toward an agreement that protects both of their interests.