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Why you should know about postnuptial agreements

It is no secret that marriage is difficult. In fact, for a lot of people, it is far more difficult than they could have imagined. In many cases, the challenges of marriage prove to be too great and a couple divorces.

But even if two people don't end their marriage, they can still be changed by circumstances that threaten the relationship. In these situations, people might question whether they should have a postnuptial agreement in place to protect themselves in the event that the marriage doesn't survive the next challenge.

What is a postnuptial agreement?

A postnuptial agreement is very similar to a prenuptial agreement, but it is one that is created while a couple is married. It addresses many of the same issues that a prenup does, including property division, spousal support, legal fees, marital misconduct and retention of major assets like the marital home.

Why do people get postnups?

People get postnuptial agreements for any number of reasons. Some examples might include :

  • In response to infidelity to protect the non-adulterous spouse
  • If a couple is estranged but attempting to reconcile
  • If spouses wanted to have a prenuptial agreement but failed to complete one before their marriage
  • Dramatic changes in the marital or separate assets

Do I need a postnuptial agreement?

Not everyone needs a postnuptial agreement, but it may be something worth considering. And in fact, postnuptial agreements are getting more popular, according to a 2015 survey that revealed an increase in postnup inquiries to attorneys.

Whether you decide to have a postnuptial agreement is up to you, though you can discuss your options with an attorney familiar with postnups. If you do decide to have an agreement, it is crucial that you work with your attorney to ensure it is legally valid and enforceable, as postnuptial agreements can be harder to enforce than prenuptial agreements are.

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