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What is a Postnuptial Agreement and When is It Necessary?

Author: Raquel Saltzman

There are many scenarios where a couple ought to consider obtaining a postnuptial agreement, but a common situation is when either the husband or wife has an affair. This can be a very trying time in the couple’s marriage and in deciding how to move forward, they may seek therapy or consult with a divorce attorney. In these meetings, we often hear the couple to discuss whether to make an effort to save the marriage or call it quits. If the former is decided, often postnuptial agreements provide a safety net for those who are unsure how to proceed.

A postnuptial agreement – or more casually referred to as a “postnup” – is a legal contract signed after a couple enters into a civil union or marriage. It lays out how the couple’s financial affairs will be divided in the event of divorce or separation.

While we most often prepare postnuptial agreements as part of reconciliation efforts, they can also be used for couples who – after getting married – simply want to protect their financial assets. Perhaps one has started a successful business or come into some family money since saying “I do.”

In any event, postnuptial agreements outline the anticipated division of all property acquired individually and together from both before and after they became married.

A postnuptial agreement can also address issues such as incurring debts, alimony and child support. They can be used after an incident in the marriage to control behaviors like adultery, overspending, a child’s education and unemployment.

If you are considering entering into a postnuptial agreement with your spouse, please call us for more information and to answer any questions.

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