Do I need a post-nuptial agreement?

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2024 | Divorce |

You may not have believed you needed a pre-nuptial agreement when you got married. But our circumstances often change over the course of many years of marriage.

Perhaps you or your spouse got a job promotion with a significant salary increase or one of you came into a large inheritance. Maybe you now own several properties or have substantial retirement accounts.

This is typical. Assets usually increase over time and you might now recognize the value of a document detailing how the assets will be split if you divorce. This is accomplished through a post-nuptial agreement.

What is a post-nuptial agreement?

A post-nuptial agreement is a written, legally binding document that states how assets will be divided in a divorce and details the terms of any other financial decisions, such as alimony.

There are benefits and drawbacks to a post-nuptial agreement. You and your spouse are older and likely more mature than you were when you got married. This leaves you in a better position to make these types of decisions.

Since you are already married, you have the advantage of time to thoroughly discuss the terms of the post-nuptial agreement. You both also have an idea of each other’s financial situations and how they are likely to change in the future.

However, it is natural to feel that a post-nuptial agreement means that you are more likely to divorce.

Do not sign the agreement until you are ready

A post-nuptial agreement might still be the best financial decision for you, but do not agree to anything or sign it until you are truly comfortable with it. Consider talking through your feelings with a counselor or your spouse.

Negotiating the terms of a post-nuptial agreement may cause problems in your marriage you did not realize you were there. You may discover you have different opinions on finances, particularly if one spouse is better off financially than the other.

Courts tend to scrutinize the terms of post-nuptial agreements. The agreement is meant to be fair to both spouses, so if you end up divorcing and are unhappy with the terms, you can ask a court to modify or remove them.