There are many reasons for couples to create a postnuptial agreement, but the most common is to smooth over or formalize an issue that is a source of tension in the marriage. With financial issues being a top reason of why a marriage ends in divorce, often these documents address financial matters.
What a postnup can do
There are many uses for a postnup, including:
- Specify who owns certain assets, such as a new business endeavor or the house
- Specify who is obligated to pay certain debts, such as student loans or a bank loan
- Provide groundwork on how to handle probate issues
- Determine how much money is given to children from a previous marriage or divided among blended families
- Determine how earnings are allocated
- Provide a framework for how a divorce will be handled if it comes to pass at a later date
This is delicate issue
The idea of a postnuptial agreement is to solve problems, not create them. While one side may be suspicious about where assets are located and how they are controlled, the couple should ideally enter into negotiations from a place of trust and build towards a consensus so that both sides feel good about the outcome. Some even believe that postnups can actually be a key to a happy and lasting marriage.
Each side should have their own attorney
As with so many legal agreements, it is advisable to consult with an attorney who has experience in drafting these types of legal documents. While the couple should always strive to create a fair agreement, each spouse consulting their own attorney helps ensure this.