You are likely familiar with prenuptial agreements in which the parties address property rights and other financial matters before marrying. You may feel it is too late for such an agreement if you’re already married, but there is a similar agreement for wedded couples.
These contracts are called mid-marriage, postnuptial or postmarital agreements in most regions. They can serve as a blueprint for divorce or help you define financial roles and responsibilities to improve your marriage.
What can you address in a postnup?
These agreements function the way prenuptial contracts do — with the only difference being the date you enter the agreement. The involved parties sign premarital contracts before the wedding and postnuptial ones at some point during the marriage.
A mid-marriage agreement allows couples to address the following in advance if divorce becomes unavoidable.
- Debt division
- Spousal support
- Distribution of property
- Defining marital property
- Defining separate property
Marital agreements do not generally allow couples to address child-related issues such as child support and custody.
Who needs a postnuptial agreement?
Marital contracts can benefit all who are planning to marry or are already married. If you have children from a previous relationship, a postnup (or prenup) can protect their inheritance rights if your marriage ends in divorce.
Postnuptial contracts also benefit marriages in which there is an unequal balance of debt and property ownership. If you end up divorcing anyway, the postnup helps you avoid getting saddled with an unfair share of your spouse’s debt.
Whether a divorce is imminent or you want to improve the money side of your marriage, learn how New Jersey post- and -premarital agreements might help.