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How may couples benefit from a postnuptial agreement?

Since the subject of a prenuptial agreement can be an emotionally sensitive one for couples about to marry, you may have decided not to ask your spouse to sign one. Now that you have experienced the highs and lows of marriage, you might regret not signing a prenuptial agreement when you had the chance. Fortunately, the option of a postnuptial agreement still remains.

A postnuptial agreement is like a prenuptial agreement, only you draft and sign it after you have tied the knot. You may use a postnuptial agreement to address the same issues as a prenup would cover, like how to divide your property in divorce. As U.S. News and World Report explains, there are some particular issues you may want to use a postnup to address.

If you go into business

Forming a business may be an exciting moment in your life, but your entrepreneurial dream may become a nightmare if your spouse claims a share of your business in a divorce. You may have to sell the business so your spouse can reap his or her share. Signing a postnuptial agreement might preserve your business by designating the company as your separate property and thus not eligible for division.

If financial circumstances change

Sometimes financial situations change radically during marriage. You might have come into a lot of money and do not want to lose it in divorce. Your spouse may be struggling with debt and you do not want to be responsible for some of it after a divorce. A postnup allows you to resolve how to deal with your spouse’s debt so you do not incur post-divorce liability for it, plus you may designate assets like an inheritance as separate property.

If a spouse stops working

You might decide to leave the workforce to stay at home and care for the children. If so, you could have trouble finding work later on because your job skills are not current enough to acquire a higher-paying job. A postnuptial agreement may put aside enough assets to provide for you post-divorce, perhaps by giving you money to educate yourself and find a good job after divorce.

In general, a postnup might help you realize your estate plans, like passing on assets to your children from a previous marriage. Signing a postnuptial agreement may keep you from significant legal headaches if your marriage does not last.

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