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What you should know about postnuptial agreements

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2023 | Family Law |

Postnuptial agreements are contracts that couples sign after they have gotten married. Similar to prenuptial agreements, couples seek to clarify how their financial situation would be defined if the marriage fails or if one spouse dies.

The basics of such an agreement

A postnuptial agreement needs to meet 3 basic requirements. It can not be signed under duress, each spouse must have provided full disclosure of their financial situation at the time the marital agreement was signed, and the agreement cannot be unfair to one of the parties.

Why do some couples sign postnuptial agreements?

Some couples choose to sign postnuptial agreements to avoid having a preexisting prenuptial agreement overturned by the court. This is to avoid the possibility of a spouse seeking to have the earlier agreement overturned in case of a divorce by claiming they had signed it under duress. Other couples failed to have a prenuptial agreement but want to clarify certain issues in the event that their marriage comes to an end.

What can be included in a postnuptial agreement?

There are several topics that can be addressed in a postnuptial agreement. These include:

  • The division of marital assets
  • Provisions for spousal support
  • Cheating clauses with financial costs for the cheating spouse
  • Anniversary clauses with financial rewards for meeting certain marriage milestones
  • Changes or endings to the entire agreement or specific provisions depending on the length of the marriage

What cannot be included in the postnuptial agreement?

A postnuptial agreement cannot include provisions related to child custody and support, as it is against public policy. Judges make these types of decisions based on the best interests of the children.

Postnuptial agreements can be useful to help couples simplify some of the issues they face when divorcing. However, they should be entered into in good faith for them to be upheld.