Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
A prenuptial agreement, or prenup, is a contract entered into by two people prior to marriage. This agreement allows a couple to define and ascribe certain rights to each party in the event of divorce, separation, annulment, or separate maintenance case.
Although the content of prenuptial agreements can vary, they commonly include provisions for division of property, including both what will be considered marital property versus separate property, as well as whether either party is entitled to alimony (spousal support).
There are many reasons you should consider getting a prenup. The top reasons for getting a prenuptial agreement include:
- You are a high-asset individual who owns or has interest in significant assets such as real estate, business interests, stocks, retirement funds, or other investments.
- You wish to protect specific separate property or assets.
- You expect an inheritance.
- You want to ensure your estate plan is stays as planned.
- You may have lottery winnings.
- Your business partners are concerned about how your marriage / divorce would impact the business.
- You have a larger assets compared to your future spouse.
- Your future spouse has significant debt compared to you.
- You are about to start a business or career that could potentially earn you significant money.
- You have previously been married.
- You aren’t sure about your future spouse’s motives for marrying you.
- You have children or grandchildren already.
- You are the spouse who earns significantly less and want to be protected.
- You are the spouse who would quit their job to raise children and want to be protected.
Should you get a prenup? How will a prenup protect you? What is the process for getting a prenup? How much does a prenup cost? What do I do if my future spouse wants a prenup but I don’t? These are all great questions and therefore it is important to speak with experienced legal counsel who can answer all of your questions. Make sure you consult with an attorney who has handled many prenups as prenuptial agreements ordinarily require a high level of sophistication and experience.
A postnuptial agreement, or postnup, is a contract entered into by a couple who is already married. People enter into postnups primarily because they ran out of time to finalize a prenup before the wedding or they wish to resolve an issue or problem that they are experiencing in their marriage so that the marriage can go forward. While these agreements frequently are used to settle financial issues, they can be used to decide a variety of other issues that are unique to the particular couple.