Most people have heard of a pre-nuptial agreement, and have some idea of how it works. Before getting married, a couple signs a document that addresses how things like assets, liabilities, and spousal support obligations will be dealt with should they decide to get divorced.
Post-nuptial agreements are less common, but they are gaining popularity. This domestic contract is similar to a pre-nup, but a post-nup is signed after the couple is married.
Creating a post-nup can be more complicated than a pre-nup because there is less leverage in the negotiations, and the couple already shares marital assets. But, a post-nup can be signed at any time during the marriage, regardless of whether the couple has been married for five months or twenty years. So, as long as both parties agree to the terms and conditions in the contract, it is never too late to get a post-nup.
Some couples turn to this contract when their marriage is unstable, but they are still willing to work on reconciling the relationship. If for example, one spouse is caught cheating, but asks for another chance, the other spouse may use a post-nup as a way to discourage more infidelity. The contract would make it clear that if the spouse cheated again, and the couple gets divorced, the other spouse would get the car, summer cottage, etc.
However post-nuptials can be beneficial in instances where one spouse inherits property, or is given a position in a family business unexpectedly, and wants to keep those assets or profits separate should the marriage end. And in some instances, couples decide to get a post-nup simply because they ran out of time to create a pre-nup before the wedding.
Whatever the motivation to get a post-nup is, both parties should always seek independent legal advice from a family lawyer before signing the document to ensure that they understand what they are agreeing to, and that the post-nup will be upheld in court.
Do you believe a post-nuptial agreement could benefit your marriage? Allow us to help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers.