When Do We Know A Postnuptial Agreement Should be Drafted?

There are times when during a marriage, a postnuptial agreement should be drafted.

Postnups are particularly beneficial when one or both partners have significant pre-marital assets or children from previous marriages.

Did one of you receive a large inheritance?  If one of you unexpectedly receives a sizable gift from a family member, it’s time to consider a postnuptial agreement. Under normal circumstances, new assets become joint assets.  A postnup can help keep assets solely for you, in case of a marital split.

Do either of you have children from a previous marriage? When there are blended families, postnups often determine the share of assets your spouse will receive, in the event of a divorce or your death. The children will receive the inheritance you designate. Often without a signed postnuptial agreement, state courts will give the current spouses a share of your estate upon your death.

Do one of you own a profitable business? A postnup protects income and or assets you earn during the marriage. This can be crucial for spouses who own their own companies. Without a postnup, an ex-spouse may be entitled to collect a percentage of the business or its earnings.

Did you hate the idea of a prenup? Some people believe that discussing prenuptial agreements is a stress-inducing event when the couple is already dealing with the wedding planning overload. For those couples, delaying this and planning for a postnup makes more sense. 

Postnuptial agreements can prevent expensive, hostile divorce court battles and avoid inheritance disputes between a person’s surviving spouse and his or her heirs. When you and your spouse make contractual decisions, you are in control of your future, not a court.