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What is a postnuptial agreement?

Most marriages start out on a positive note, leading many couples to believe they do not need a prenuptial agreement. However, people, circumstances and relationships change, often leaving struggling couples wishing to have a legal agreement with their spouse. Many mistakenly believe they do not have recourse once they sign the marriage certificate.

Fortunately, postnuptials are an option. Here are some things to know about the legal tool.

What is a postnuptial agreement?

A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement in that it allows couples to designate what will happen to assets in a divorce. A postnuptial agreement also lets a couple put a formal agreement about marital expectations in writing. The primary difference between a postnuptial and prenuptial agreement is timing, as couples create a postnup after they enter marriage.

Why create a postnuptial agreement?

In addition to wanting to salvage a marriage by clearly outlining expectations, there are many reasons a couple might want to generate a postnuptial agreement, including the following:

  • Financial situation changes take place, such as increased debt or higher asset values
  • One spouse stays home to care for children and wants financial security in the event of a divorce
  • A spouse wants to protect their child from another relationship’s right to inheritance

Couples may also opt for a postnuptial agreement to replace a prenuptial already in place.

Postnuptial agreements are an option for couples who regret not signing a prenup or those whose situations now warrant having a formal agreement in place.