Once married, you and your spouse will legally share many things, such as childcare, finances, and other assets. If you entered your marriage without signing a prenuptial agreement, you can instead.
A postnup, also known as a post-marital agreement, works similarly to a prenup. The most significant difference is that couples only draft and sign it after being legally wed. If you and your spouse have decided to create a postnuptial agreement, there are a few items you should consider including.
Unlike marital property, which the court may distribute to both individuals, a separate property provision defines which assets belong only to one spouse. Typically, this will include assets that an individual already owned before the marriage, such as a car or house. Some assets you acquired during the marriage, such as gifts and inheritances under your name, can also be included.
Marital assets are properties you acquired together after your marriage. As a couple, you can specify what properties can be considered. Separate property, such as a marital home that is only owned by one spouse, can be included if both agree.
A postnup can specify if any alimony payments will be paid to either spouse in the event of a divorce. If spousal support is included in the postnuptial agreement, it should specify the payment amount, when to pay, and how long payments will last.
Child support and custody
Couples can agree on what is best for their child by outlining their preferences around custody time, visitation rights, and support. However, this agreement is not binding as the court will look at the child’s needs first, but a judge will consider it.
You can also protect each other from debt. If one spouse incurred a significant amount of debt before the marriage, a postnuptial agreement could ensure it stays with that spouse.
Talking about finances with your partner can be difficult, but a postnuptial agreement can help ease the tension surrounding the conversation, set boundaries and manage each spouse’s financial expectations. It may not be easy, but if you want an agreement with your best interests at heart, you may want to work with a lawyer with extensive knowledge about the process.