Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada, LLP
Menlo Park
San Ramon

Postnuptial agreements can protect your marriage

You may have read that the rate of divorce is on the decline. Analysts point to several reasons why this might be true, but one may be that more couples are using prenuptial agreements to address potential conflicts. However, not every couple is emotionally ready for such a contract prior to marriage.

A newer trend in family law is the postnuptial agreement, which you and your spouse sign after you are married, even years later. While a postnuptial contract can have the same purpose as a prenup, there are other important elements that may benefit you if you have discovered issues of conflict in your marriage.

Uses of a postnup

A prenuptial agreement has much more flexibility than many in California realize, but most often, couples use it to agree which assets will remain separate from marital property. Although a couple may have dated for years, they may not be able to predict the kind of disputes they may face in the marriage. A postnuptial agreement can remove conflict in situations like the following:

  • You and your spouse want an official division of household duties.
  • You want to clarify an agreement for earning, spending, borrowing and saving money.
  • You and your spouse want an agreement about the children, for example, how will a spouse be compensated after leaving work to stay home with kids?
  • If one of you starts a business after you marry or has a substantial change in finances, you may want to keep those assets separate from marital property.
  • If one of you misbehaves, such as committing adultery or spending recklessly, a postnuptial agreement can address the consequences of any future similar actions.

Often, these consequences are financial. For example, if your spouse cheats on you after your postnuptial agreement is in place, the agreement can dictate how this behavior will positively affect your share of asset division.

Preparing an enforceable contract

Because postnuptial agreements are relatively new in family law, courts are more stringent in their examination and less generous in their enforcement of them. It is important that you take every possible step to ensure the validity and fairness of your document to avoid having a court nullify all or part of it when you need it most.

Seeking the advice and guidance of an attorney is a wise move. In fact, whether signing a postnuptial agreement or a prenup, it is important for the protection of your rights that you and your partner have separate legal counsel.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information