Even if you do not have many assets, executing a prenuptial agreement before walking down the aisle probably makes sense. After all, prenups provide a variety of benefits for married couples. Fortunately, even if you and your spouse did not draft a prenuptial agreement before your marriage, you are not out of luck.
Postnuptial agreements look much like prenuptial ones with a key difference: Couples execute postnuptial agreements after the marriage takes place. While some subjects are off-limits, individuals enjoy wide latitude in deciding which provisions to include in a postnuptial agreement. Here are three ways you may benefit from this type of marital contract:
- Achieve financial peace of mind
While much of what you and your spouse own is part of the marital estate, you probably have some separate property. A comprehensive postnuptial agreement can spell out who owns what. Similarly, if you and your spouse have different income potentials, your postnuptial agreement may provide for alimony if your marriage ends in divorce.
- Establish marital obligations
Some studies indicate that postnuptial agreements may improve shaky marriages. In marriage counseling, many concerned spouses report problems with communication and finances. To ensure you and your spouse are on the same page, use your postnuptial agreement to establish each spouse’s obligations and responsibilities. Doing so can lessen conflict and enhance the quality of your marriage.
- Minimize divorce battles
If your union eventually ends in divorce, a good postnuptial agreement may help you avoid many of the divorce battles that plague other couples. The agreement can settle many disputes before they even arise. Alternatively, it may provide options besides a protracted court fight, such as mediation or another type of collaborative divorce.
There are a number of reasons you may not have created a prenuptial agreement before you married your spouse. Fortunately, you can accomplish many of the same objectives with a postnuptial agreement that meets your unique needs as a couple.