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Already Married? It's Not Too Late For a Postnuptial Agreement

You may be familiar with the benefits of a prenuptial agreement, which can protect your assets in the event of a divorce. If you’re already married, though, it isn’t too late to ensure that you’re prepared for anything your marriage may face, including a divorce. A postnuptial agreement can function much like a prenuptial agreement but is signed after your marriage has begun.

What Is Included in a Post Nuptial Agreement?

Postnuptial agreements should cover everything that a prenuptial agreement would. This means that each spouse will need to provide a full financial disclosure, which also includes marital property and separate property. Separate property can include inheritances, property that was owned before the marriage, gifts, and the proceeds of legal settlements. It also should also lay out how you and your spouse plan to manage joint bank accounts, household bills, and credit card payments.

You may choose other things to include in your postnuptial agreement, including alimony terms, how disagreements will be resolved, and how succession and inheritance are to occur if one spouse passes away during the course of the marriage. Talk with your family lawyer about what they recommend you include in your agreement.

The Criteria of a Postnuptial Agreement

Regardless of the state, postnuptial agreements will likely meet several criteria to be considered valid. Since every state has slightly different regulations regarding postnuptial agreements, it is best to consult your family law attorney for help in drafting a legally sound postnuptial agreement.

Here are some criteria that your postnuptial should meet:

  • Your postnuptial agreement should be written. Often, oral agreements regarding your marital assets aren’t enforceable.
  • Your postnuptial agreement should be signed. Both spouses should sign the agreement, as well as having it notarized.
  • Your postnuptial agreement should be consensual. A postnuptial agreement will be discarded if it is found that one spouse coerced, threatened, deceived, or physically forced the other to sign the agreement.
  • Your postnuptial agreement should be fair. In the eyes of the law, fair doesn’t necessarily mean equal, but rather equitable. Each spouse should be treated fairly by the agreement and be entitled to what is rightfully theirs.
  • Your postnuptial agreement should include full disclosure of assets. Both spouses are expected to fully disclose their assets, income, debts, and property in the postnuptial, just as they would for a prenuptial.

Is a Postnuptial Agreement Right for Me?

Only you can make that decision, but if you’re thinking about a postnuptial agreement, it might be for the best to complete one. Whether your spouse’s spending habits make you uncomfortable, or you’re simply looking for a little extra peace of mind, a postnuptial agreement can be created at any time after the marriage. You can also you a postnuptial agreement to modify and amend a prenuptial agreement.

It is worth noting, that it can be against your best interest to agree to a postnuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement can prevent nasty divorce battles, but it can also leave you without any stake in your spouse’s assets or income, which may be possible in a standard divorce. You may not receive what you are entitled to in the event of a divorce if you have signed a postnuptial agreement. This is why it is generally a good idea to discuss your case with an experienced family law attorney before making a decision one way or the other. They can advise you according to your best interest, and help you protect yourself more fully.

If you want to learn more about postnuptial agreements and the protection they can offer, don’t hesitate to call our Tulsa family law attorney at the Bundren Law Firm P.C. Our dedicated and caring legal team can help you understand what options are the best for your needs, and help you pursue them.

Contact our offices today by calling (918) 992-3300.

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