Postnuptial agreements are contracts signed by spouses. Much like prenuptial agreements, they often address the property of the spouses, their children and what might happen if they divorce.
A postnuptial agreement could actually help you avoid divorce by giving you and your spouse a reason to work on your marriage. It can also make you feel more comfortable about making that attempt by extending certain protections to you.
How can you protect yourself with a postnuptial agreement?
By creating actual consequences for misconduct
If your spouse has violated your trust or their marriage vows by cheating on you or engaging in underhanded activity, their actions put you in a vulnerable position. Infidelity could put you at risk of a sexually transmitted infection. At the same time, gambling and other financial misconduct could diminish your assets or leave you partially responsible for any debt that results.
Making your spouse solely accountable for their bad behavior and possibly imposing a penalty for the same conduct in the event of a divorce can be one way to protect yourself with a postnuptial agreement.
By minimizing the possible expenses in a divorce
Divorce can be expensive and messy, especially if one spouse filed because of the misconduct of the other. When you address property division, custody and other divorce issues in a postnuptial agreement, you won’t have to litigate the divorce. An uncontested divorce will usually cost a fraction of what a litigated divorce would.
By protecting certain assets or income
One of the reasons that people draft postnuptial agreements is to designate certain property or income as separate property. Your inheritance, a business you intend to start, or even your vehicle could be something you want to protect as separate property in a postnuptial agreement. If you protect them in a marital agreement, you won’t have to worry about splitting or losing your most valuable assets.
Drafting a postnuptial agreement can be a way to protect your marriage and yourself if your marriage does eventually end.