Many people are familiar with prenuptial agreements—prenups—but fewer realize married couples can create legal agreements after the wedding, too. Postnuptial agreements are like prenups in many ways and serve many of the same purposes.
Rely on an attorney from Jones Family Law Group, LLC when you and your spouse are considering a postnuptial agreement. Our Ballwin postnuptial agreements lawyers will listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and craft a document that is right for you.
Why Create a Postnuptial Agreement?
When a couple divorces or one spouse dies, the law determines how to distribute their property. You and your spouse are free to choose another method, but you must formalize your decision in a postnuptial agreement. Courts will enforce postnuptial agreements so long as they meet the legal requirements for valid contracts and so long as each spouse fully discloses their income and assets.
Sometimes, a married couple has a prenup; but after a while, the agreement no longer seems fair or applicable. In that case, a postnuptial agreement could be a way to modify or replace the prenup. As a Ballwin attorney can further explain, a postnuptial agreement can accommodate unexpected developments in your life, such as one of you developing a serious illness, needing to care for a disabled child, or winning the lottery.
Ensuring Your Postnuptial Agreement Is Enforceable
If your spouse dies or you decide to divorce, you may need to enforce your postnuptial agreement. The court will only enforce a postnuptial agreement that is written and signed by both parties. If one party challenges the agreement, the court will consider several conditions before deciding to enforce it, including whether both parties entered into the agreement willingly and in good faith, and whether both fully and accurately disclosed their financial condition (including all assets, future interests, and debts) before signing. If the court finds evidence of coercion, duress, or inadequate disclosure, it might find the agreement unenforceable. You and your spouse should have separate attorneys review the agreement and explain its implications.
The agreement must be fundamentally fair (referred to as conscionability). This does not mean it must treat both parties equally, but that each party must benefit from the agreement.
Postnuptial and Separation Agreements
Should you and your spouse eventually divorce, your separation agreement must cover property division, spousal support, and, if you have minor children, a parenting plan. If you cannot agree, the judge will decide on these issues for you.
A postnuptial agreement could be a template for the property division section of your separation agreement. Having a distribution plan in place could save many hours of negotiation with your spouse and reduce the time the lawyers must devote to resolving that aspect of the divorce. A postnuptial agreement could save substantial time and money.
If you are contemplating divorce when you enter the postnuptial agreement, a Ballwin attorney could ensure it addresses important issues like spousal support. If you plan to remain married, the document could still direct property distribution should you ever get divorced.
Learn More From a Ballwin Postnuptial Agreements Attorney
When you and your spouse are planning for your future, consider calling a Ballwin postnuptial agreements lawyer. An attorney with our firm could draft an agreement that meets your unique needs. They also could review and modify an agreement that another firm has already prepared.
Postnuptial agreements are a way to keep financial power in your and your spouse’s hands. Call Jones Family Law Group, LLC today to learn how a postnuptial agreement could protect and serve your marriage.