Unlike the Prenuptial agreement which is made prior to marriage, the couple enters into a Postnuptial agreement after the marriage already took place. In this respect, a marriage is an economic partnership in which both parties benefit from a written agreement. The agreement specifies the financial and legal obligations and responsibilities of each partner.
Entering into a Postnup agreement can solve a lot of tricky issues between the couple and save their marriage. A Postnup gives the couple an opportunity to analyze the impact of financial stress on their marriage. It enables the couple to legally define their assets, debts and outline the spending habits. Though the requirements for Postnuptial agreement vary from state to state, the general essentials are:
- It must be in writing, signed by both spouses
- It must be notarized
- It must be signed voluntary and not under threat or physical force
- It must not be unconscionable, one-sided or unfair
- It must accurately disclose all the assets that the spouses own
In California, a Postnup agreement can not control child custody or support, as well as it does not regulate religious practices. Additionally, it does not contain punishing measures for marital infidelity. Yet, a California Postnup agreement controls all aspects of financial relationships between spouses and ownership interests of property. It also determines community and separate income.
Types of Postnuptial Agreements
In the United States, Postnuptial agreements generally govern both property division and child support or custody matters in the event the marriage ends in divorce or legal separation. Accordingly, there three types of Postnuptial agreements:
- Asset and property division: This is the most common type of a Postnuptial agreement. It specifies how the couple’s property and liabilities will be divided in the event of divorce. Property covered under this type of Postnup agreement includes both marital property and the one that each spouse brought into the marriage. This type of agreement also regulates alimony and spousal support issues.
- Waiving spousal rights when one party dies: Under this type of Postnup agreement a spouse is entitled to certain property rights in case of the other’s death. Broadly speaking, it is designed to guide on how the couples’ property and assets will be divided in the event of either spouse’s death. The agreement can easily supersede a will.
- A prototype for a separation agreement: The third type of Postnup spells out how child custody, child support and spousal support issues are to be handled during divorce. That is why the Prenup agreement can later be incorporated into the divorce decree and reduce time and expenses of the divorce process.
Postnuptial agreements are legal contracts, so it is crucial for both spouses to fully understand how the agreements protect and/or limit their rights before entering into the agreements. Thus, consulting a professional family law attorney will be of great benefit for you in determining whether or not you need a Postnup agreement. The experienced family law attorneys at the Margarian Law firm will explain all the pros and cons of the legal document and help you understand your rights. They have years of successful experience representing clients who seek prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.