Can I Ask My Spouse to Sign a Postnuptial Agreement?

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You may be unfamiliar with a postnuptial agreement. The prenuptial agreement is more well-known. However, a postnuptial agreement can be beneficial as well, provided all parties are on the same page. In short, yes, you can ask your spouse for a postnuptial agreement. It doesn’t mean, however, you’ll get the answer you want.

Postnuptial Agreement: A Contract That Protects You in the Event of a Divorce

No couple wants to think of it, obviously. So asking for one might come off as a bit harsh. The fact is a postnuptial agreement does see a lot of play in court and proceedings with family law. You would be surprised to know, though, that when a couple agrees to a postnuptial agreement, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s consideration for divorce.

Some reasons for postnuptial agreements between married couples include:

  • Detailing each party’s wishes for the future
  • Protecting inheritances for children
  • Financial irresponsibility and legal trouble
  • Lottery winnings or an increase in salary
  • Ensuring spousal support just in case

Notice that a lot of this may not even involve divorce. Case in point: if one spouse stops working and stays home to take care of the children, one should ask what would happen if, say, the other spouse ends up dying? That’s something to consider. The overall thought of the postnuptial agreement, of course, is that it prepares for the possibility of divorce. And the goal is to not only protect the finances, but the children as well.

Postnuptial Agreements, However, Are Not Always Necessary in Every Situation

In some situations, you should avoid them completely. Be very careful if it just so happens that there is a substantial income disparity between both spouses. It would mean that the postnuptial agreement’s provisions might not account for the needs of the spouse making much less in income.

Of course, if perhaps you are rushed into signing it, the basic rule of thumb is this: don’t sign it quite yet. Consult a licensed and experienced family law attorney first, ensuring you have enough time to evaluate every single provision in the contract. Not knowing what you’ve signed won’t exempt you from the provisions listed. Be sure you know what the future will hold when it involves a postnuptial agreement.

In a Sense, It’s Very Similar To a Prenuptial Agreement

Except for the fact that you sign a postnuptial after you’re already married. There’s a sense that there would be no turning back. Whereas in a prenuptial agreement, you have the option to say no before saying “I do” at the altar. The important thing to note is that it often doesn’t constitute divorce. The key to always have in mind is that you’re considering the future—for both parties. And it is an important consideration to think about.

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