For some couples, writing up a prenuptial agreement before tying the knot is a smart move. For other couples, especially those who are young and do not have much in terms of assets, a prenup may not make a lot of sense.
However, after the marriage, putting protections in place may make sense at some point. A postnuptial agreement fits this bill, as it is similar to a prenup but just written after the vows.
Reasons to create a postnuptial agreement
According to U.S. News and World Report, one benefit of creating a postnuptial agreement is that it may contain more realistic elements than a prenuptial agreement would. There are numerous reasons why couples decide to have a postnup:
- There are issues in the marriage
- There is a change in the couple’s financial situation
- One spouse is starting a business
- There are children from previous marriages
- One spouse quit working to raise children
What to include in a postnuptial agreement
There are no set rules as to what a couple should include in the agreement. Common elements are the division of assets and debts in the event of divorce, expectations for alimony and payment plans for other expenses. FindLaw discusses that a postnup can also outline what happens if one of the spouses dies. Generally, a postnuptial agreement cannot dictate decisions regarding child custody or support.
Factors that may invalidate a postnuptial agreement
For a postnuptial agreement to be legally valid, the process and document must meet certain conditions. It is not valid if it is not a written contract, one spouse did not fully disclose his or her financial situation, one party forced the spouse to sign it, it contains false information, one spouse did not get a chance to read it before signing, there are invalid provisions or the agreement is unfair to one of the parties.