What Is A Post-Nuptial Agreement?

You have probably heard of a pre-nuptial agreement or as it is commonly referred to a prenup. But did you know that there are post-nuptial agreements? A postnup is similar to a prenup in that it is a legal contract that dictates how assets may be divided, however, it is created after the wedding. Both prenups and postnups can be created through the process of mediation. In fact, many couples prefer mediation, as it allows the agreements to be created by both parties, instead of by just one. Because mediation has compromise at its core, it is the ideal method for handling prenups or postnups.

Do You Need A Postnup?

Unfortunately, nuptial agreements have a negative stigma attached to them. This is partly because of tabloids and how they are discussed by the media. Often we only hear about these types of agreements when famous celebrities or millionaires are getting them. There is this misconception that there is never a “good reason” for a nuptial agreement and that it is just in place to protect the individual from their soon-to-be wife or husband. However, both prenups and postnups have many helpful applications. And when used correctly, they can help protect you and any children you have from a previous relationship. Here are a few circumstances that might indicate that you need a prenup or a postnup.

  • You and/or your spouse are wealthy:  Both prenups and postnups are recommended in any situation where one or both parties has a large number of assets. Even if you didn’t get a prenup prior to the wedding, a postnup could be filed to ensure that in the event of separation your assets are protected.
  • You and/or your spouse own a business: Many business owners don’t consider this, but if you own a business it makes sense to get a nuptial agreement. Without a nuptial agreement, a spouse may be entitled to a percentage of your business or its earnings. If you own your own business you consider a nuptial agreement to protect it.
  • You and/or your spouse have children from a previous marriage: This is one of the main reasons couples get nuptial agreements. An agreement can indicate how your assets would be divided up between your spouse and your children. This can ensure that your children from a previous relationship do not lose a large portion of their inheritance due to a legal separation.
  • One of you recently received a large inheritance: One reason for postnups specifically is if you suddenly gain assets. Although you may not have been wealthy or a business owner or had children when you got married, if you suddenly gain a large amount of money through inheritance, for example, you may want to protect that money with a postnup.
  • You regret not getting a prenup: Many individuals regret not getting a prenup after the fact. During the marriage process, they may have decided not to get a prenup because they feared that negative stigma attached to them. Many individuals worry that “planning for a divorce” can doom a marriage. However, a nuptial agreement is just a failsafe in case something happens. If you get married and start to think that maybe you should have gotten a prenup you should call an attorney or family mediator.

Mediation for Prenups and Postnups

One thing that can take the sting out of a nuptial agreement is using a mediator. One of the biggest concerns about nuptial agreements is that it might offend your spouse. Working with a mediator ensures that you and your spouse can have a say in the nuptial agreement before it is signed. If you would like to work with a mediator in Worcester, please contact our office today.