What is a Postnuptial Agreement? Am I Eligible For One?

What is a Postnuptial Agreement? Am I Eligible For One?

Over the past few years, postnuptial agreements for married couples have begun to grow in popularity. While many people have heard of signing prenuptial agreements before they legally wed, a postnuptial agreement is essentially a legally binding contract that you put in place, after you are married. Postnuptial Agreements are referred to by legal term as a Partition and Exchange Agreement, or simply partition agreements. Just like a prenuptial agreement, it outlines certain stipulations should you and your partner choose to divorce.

Before the 1970s, postnuptial agreements were generally not enforceable in a court of law, so these legal contracts are still relatively new.

What is Typically Included in a Postnuptial Agreement?

Most postnups, or partition agreements, are primarily about protecting money and assets in case of a divorce. Typically, much like prenuptial agreements, these legal contracts will detail different provisions to be enforced should the marriage end. This may include:

  • How assets and different properties will be divided.
  • Whether or not one of the spouses will be responsible for spousal support and how long that spousal support will continue.
  • How any marital debts, including mortgages will be split.
  • How assets will be divided if a spouse dies during the marriage.
  • How support of minor children will be handled.

Of course, every postnuptial agreement is different, just as every prenuptial agreement is different, so the exact contents may vary from couple to couple partitioning their debts or assets.

Who is Eligible for a Postnuptial Agreement?

Anyone who is legally married, is technically eligible for a postnuptial agreement. However, both parties should be on the same page first before entering into a postnuptial agreement, since both parties will need to sign the same document. While some couples will write up postnups or partition agreements when they are in crisis or concerned about the state of their union, it is not always recommended.

Some people may decide on a postnuptial agreement when:

  • One or both parties is wealthy, and one has entered the marriage with significant assets, so that they can exit the marriage with the assets they brought in.
  • One or both spouses has children from a previous marriage. This is a great way to determine the share of assets in the event of a divorce or death.
  • One or both spouses owns a business. Without this contract, an ex-spouse could be entitled to collect a percentage of a business or its earnings.
  • One or both parties has received a large inheritance
  • Preservation or changes to a prenuptial agreement.

Postnuptial agreements are also common among individuals who didn’t like the idea of a prenup when they got married, but who have since had a change of heart.

If you have legal questions about your postnuptial agreement, or any other questions about your divorce proceedings, contact the Denton family law experts at Navarrette | Bowen, P.C. We are here to help answer any and all of the legal questions that you may have.

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