Almost everyone has a basic understanding of prenuptial agreements, but far fewer people know about postnuptial agreements. Both documents serve similar purposes, even if couples sign them at different points in their relationships.
Marital agreements help establish expectations for the relationship and typically put rules in place in the event of a divorce. A prenuptial agreement ensures that you enter a marriage in agreement about each spouse’s role in the relationship and can pave the way for a smoother divorce if the relationship doesn’t work out in the long term.
Those who have already gotten married and who have encountered significant marital hardship may find that negotiating a postnuptial agreement with their spouse offers them at least two significant benefits.
Postnuptial agreement can save marriages in distress
Even though you may have had good intentions when you made your vows, people and circumstances change. Your spouse may have cheated on you, hidden debt from you or started abusing drugs. The behavior of one spouse can have financial and legal risks for the other, so it is not uncommon for people to want to divorce when big issues arise in a marriage.
A postnuptial agreement could help you and your spouse move past your issues. You can outline behavioral expectations going forward and even create penalty clauses if someone continues the same behavior. You can protect your interest in certain property and even make arrangements for support ahead of time. Some couples find that really discussing their issues can help them move past the problems and be better partners in the future.
Postnuptial agreements can make divorce easier
Sometimes, even if you try to fight for your marriage, things won’t change the way you want. Your spouse may go right back to their adulterous ways, or you may discover that your trust in them simply can’t recover.
If you do decide to divorce after negotiating a postnuptial agreement, you can expect the process to be faster, kinder and cheaper. You won’t have to fight about terms since you have already set them. You won’t have to pay for a litigated divorce because your agreement paves the way for an uncontested filing.
Drafting a postnuptial agreement can be a great way to protect yourself and to try to preserve your marriage even after significant difficulty.