Some couples go into a marriage knowing they need certain protections if they ever divorce. For example, someone intending to take over their family farm or someone who has already gone through one messy divorce may insist on a prenuptial agreement.
Most people get married without first drafting a marital agreement, although many eventually realize that they need one. People who are already married can draft a postnuptial agreement. When might signing one be a good idea for you?
When your marriage is going through a tough time
If you aren’t sure whether your relationship will recover from a current hardship, a postnuptial agreement can help in two important ways.
It allows you to set terms for a possible divorce now while the two of you still want your relationship to work. Sometimes, negotiating those terms and talking about your expectations for the marriage might actually help the two of you save your relationship in the long run.
When you have new assets to protect
If you just found out that you will inherit significant property from your parents or if you have decided to start a business, drafting a postnuptial agreement can help you protect those valuable assets. A sudden inheritance or windfall is a common reason for people to draft a postnuptial agreement.
When you need protection
Sometimes, the decision to divorce the spouse is practical, not emotional. If your spouse has wasted money or abuses substances, they can cause legal and financial risk for the rest of the household. A postnuptial agreement can help you limit your liability for your spouse’s behavior and possibly create consequences for them continuing certain habits.
Drafting a postnuptial agreement can benefit both spouses and either help resolve marital issues or pave the way for a smoother divorce.