What To Know About Post-Marital Agreements

Almost everyone has heard of prenuptial agreements. They deal with financial arrangements made prior to marriage that go into effect if the couple decides to divorce. Not as many have heard of post-nuptial agreements, though. To find out more, read on.

What Is a Post-nuptial Agreement?

If you meant to have an agreement prepared and signed before you wed your mate but never got around to it, then a post-nuptial agreement could be just the thing. This type of agreement covers the same sorts of topics a prenup would cover, but with the hindsight of some time being married.

It's not too late to do a post-nuptial because they can be created and put into action any time after you are married. However, don't wait till your marriage is in trouble to complete an agreement or you might have issues coming to an agreement on much of anything. A post-nuptial agreement can be created using something you did not have before you married. You and your spouse can make an agreement that is informed by the unique issues that have occurred during the marriage.

What Should Be in the Agreement?

There are no rules about what can be included in your post-nuptial agreement, barring one. Just as with a prenup, you should not include provisions about the children of the relationship. In most cases, you cannot make agreements about child custody, visitation, child support, or nearly anything else related to minor children because that comes under the jurisdiction of the family court system. States use state and federal laws to handle those matters. However, feel free to include these subjects:

Financial Matters 

You may wish to set out in the agreement your financial goals and plans for your life together. Budgets must be adjusted too often to be set out in an agreement, but you can still provide an overview of how the household money should be spent. You may wish to assign certain financial obligations to certain parties, however. For example, you may decide that one of you will pay all household-related expenses while the other party pays other obligations. You should make financial goals, and this is an excellent place to lay those plans out.

If you brought property into the marriage, this is a good opportunity for both of you to indicate this property holds a status known as separate property.

Estate Issues 

You should make your own estate plans, but you can use this agreement to cement your estate plans. Be sure to address what happens when children from other relationships deserve recognition.

These agreements allow couples an opportunity to see what they agree upon and what needs more thought. Speak to a family law attorney to find out more.