Getting married to the love of your life is an exciting adventure. After you’ve chosen the reception location, the invitations, the cake, the menu, the flowers, and the honeymoon spot, you can’t forget that once you’re married, there are serious financial ramifications.
Some couples prefer to keep all of their money separate, while others have no problem comingling their funds. No matter how you and your spouse decide to handle your finances, it’s important that you consider the financial consequences if your marriage ends in divorce.
If you are married and you did not get a prenuptial agreement before you tied the knot, and now you wish you had, it’s not too late. You can still have an attorney draft a postnuptial agreement for all the same reasons.
About Postnuptial Agreements
A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract signed before a couple gets married, whereas a postnuptial agreement is a legal contract that a couple signs after they are already married.
Like prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements dictate how a couple’s assets are divided in case of a legal separation or divorce. With a postnuptial agreement, a couple can agree that all income acquired by each spouse during the marriage remains separate, belonging to the spouse that earned it.
Otherwise, under California’s community property laws, each spouse has a 50 percent interest in all income earned during a marriage, regardless of which spouse earned it.
Why have a postnuptial agreement?
- You are on a second or subsequent marriage.
- You have children from a previous marriage or relationship.
- You own a business.
- You left the workforce to raise your children and want to ensure that you’ll be financially secure.
- A spouse was unfaithful and the innocent spouse wants to ensure that the unfaithful spouse will be committed to the marriage.
When you were engaged, you may have felt that a prenuptial agreement was unromantic, but you realized that you should have a postnuptial agreement to protect a business, your children’s future inheritance, or other property.
Sometimes a prenuptial agreement is unnecessary because a couple has little to no assets, but after the marriage a spouse’s business grows significantly, or they become very successful. In these cases, it makes financial sense to draw up a postnuptial agreement.
If you are considering moving forward with a postnuptial agreement, it would be best to discuss this matter with a qualified family law attorney, who can answer your questions and explain the benefits of a prenup.
For legal advice regarding prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, contact Claery & Hammond, LLP!