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Is A Postnuptial Agreement Right For You?


Life changes—we all know that.  No one plans on getting a divorce when they’re courting or during the newlywed stage. Many people scoff at the idea of a prenuptial agreement on the grounds that they will never, ever get a divorce.  And hopefully they’re right. But about half of couples who wed will eventually require legal services to help them negotiate a split.  With those kinds of statistics, isn’t it worthwhile to consider ways in which you can make that possibility a little more manageable?  If not through a prenup, how about through a post-nup?

What is a Postnuptial Agreement? 

Much like the name implies, a postnup is a document that is drawn up after a couple marries to outline how assets might be divided in the event of a divorce. While they generally focus on financial issues, other things can be included. Some couples address issues such as how household chores might be divided up, what kinds of relocations are permissible, and anything else you can imagine.  It’s important that nothing ridiculously unfair is included if you want it to be legally enforceable. For couples who were not inclined to sign prenups, a postnup can be a useful document that lays out the expectations for both marriage and divorce. 

When is a Post-nup a Good idea?

While not every couples may not feel they need  one, a postnup is worth considering for many reasons  For instance:

  • When large amounts of money are involved: An agreement can help to ensure that each party leaves the union “whole.”
  • When there are kids from previous marriages: Inheritance issues can be tricky with blended families, so ensuring that everyone’s wishes are known and respected before a death can eliminate a lot of bad feelings.
  • When one or both of you own a business: If you want to protect the earnings from your business, a postnup is a good way to start. In some situations, a business has been owned by a family for generations and you may want to protect it.
  • If it was too touchy a topic before you married, but you both can handle it now: You may have been reluctant to be a big buzzkill prior to wedding bells, but with time you’ve both settled into comfortable discussions about tough topics.
  • If a large inheritance recently landed in your lap: Perhaps you want the inheritance to stick with your side of the family in the event of a split.
  • If one spouse chooses to stay home: Often it’s wise to develop protections for a lesser-earning spouse.
  • If you owe a family member: Sometimes newlyweds get a lump sum from parents to put a down payment on a house or something like that.  A postnup can specify that the loan needs to be repaid before assets are divided.
  • If there’s been infidelity: Some spouses want an insurance contract of sorts if they are going to be willing to give the marriage another shot after their spouse cheats. Penalties can be attached to future incidents of infidelity, for example.

Drafting a Postnup 

If a post nuptial agreement is something you’ve been considering, the experienced and ethical Baltimore family law attorneys at the Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes can help.  Schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.

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