Washington, like many other states, allows married couples to enter into a postnuptial agreement. Unlike a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement is drafted after you are already married.
Postnuptial agreements are not as typical as prenuptial agreements, although they are becoming increasingly more common. They are an especially attractive option for married couples with complicated finances, or a lot of assets.
Stability and certainty
A postnuptial agreement can be a good idea if you and your spouse want some certainty as to what will happen if you divorce. According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, property division, alimony and retirement accounts are the top three issues addressed in postnuptial agreements.
There are various other reasons that a postnuptial agreement might be a good idea. If one of you expects to receive an inheritance, terms surrounding how the money will be split in a divorce can be included in the agreement. The same goes for any large debts that belong to one spouse only, such as student loans.
Help for your marriage
Believe it or not, sometimes, a postnuptial agreement can help couples who are struggling in their marriage and hoping to reconcile. A postnuptial agreement that provides you with an idea as to what would happen in the event of a divorce, allowing you to make the best decision for the future of your marriage.
Many couples fear divorce because they have been a stay-at-home parent for several years or have no viable source of income. Although they do not want to remain in the marriage, they fear the financial impact of a divorce.
A postnuptial agreement can include terms that a spouse will receive a certain amount of alimony or spousal support. Knowing this ahead of time can be a tremendous benefit.
Can I change the terms?
Postnuptial agreement terms should be fair to both parties. Over your lives, circumstances may change, and terms that were fair when the agreement was drafted may now be outdated or unfair to one spouse.
There are certain circumstances that allow the terms of a postnuptial agreement to be undone. Every case is different, and many factors are considered. Having legal guidance may help.