Postnuptial Agreements Can Prevent Conflict In Marriage And Divorce
The biggest factor that predicts that a couple will sign a prenuptial agreement is not a lack of commitment to the marriage; rather, it is the fact that one or both parties have complex financial entanglements that predate the marriage. Setting down in writing what the new spouse’s relationship will be to any of these income streams or financial obligations can prevent conflicts about money during the marriage. If the couple gets a divorce, the prenup can avoid protracted disputes in court over whether the court should consider a certain asset or debt marital or separate. Postnuptial agreements serve the same purpose, but the fact that couples sign them when they are already married can make them both more and less emotionally fraught than prenups. No couple likes to have a conversation that includes the words “if we divorce,” but having honest conversations about finances is essential for any marriage that has a chance of survival. If you are considering signing a postnuptial agreement with your spouse, contact a Boca Raton prenuptial and postnuptial agreement lawyer.
How Postnuptial Agreements Can Resolve Conflict Before It Starts
A common reason that couples sign postnuptial agreements is to address financial issues that the couple could not have predicted. Consider the following scenarios where a postnuptial agreement can be helpful:
- Alex does not have children, and Brenda has children from her first marriage. When they got married, Brenda’s children were minors; she received child support from her ex-husband, and matters related to the children’s finances never caused conflict. Now Brenda wants to take out a Parent PLUS loan to help pay for her daughter’s college tuition, but Alex is against the idea, since he and Brenda have been virtually debt-free for some time. A postnuptial agreement declaring the Parent PLUS loan to be Brenda’s separate debt could help.
- Dan’s drinking problem has caused all kinds of problems, financial and emotional, in his marriage to Carol. Dan has just completed an inpatient rehab program, and Carol has been attending Al-Anon meetings. They decide that it will help rebuild trust in their marriage if they sign a postnuptial agreement, stipulating that, if they divorce (they have considered divorce before), Carol can keep the marital home (they have been in danger of losing their house before).
- Frank inherits money from his mother. His children from his first marriage and his siblings think that Frank’s wife Erica is a gold digger and have never liked her. What he does with the money he inherited is his business, and he plans to use some of it to buy a new house for himself and Erica, but to keep the peace with the rest of his family, he asks Erica to sign a postnuptial agreement waiving her right to an elective spousal share of his estate. Of course, he will still leave some assets to her in his will and others outside of probate.
Contact Schwartz | White About Disputes Over Personal Property After Divorce
A South Florida family law attorney can help you draft a postnuptial agreement, whether you and your spouse are both being honest and wise or whether your marriage is beyond repair. Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.