Anyone following celebrity news may hear about prenuptial agreements, but these contractual arrangements aren’t only for rich and famous couples. And the agreements are not locked into the pre-marriage phase. New Jersey spouses could consider a postnuptial agreement as well. Circumstances might change, and a postnup may become worth considering.
Reasons for a postnuptial agreement
A postnuptial agreement serves the same purpose as a prenuptial agreement. The document establishes asset distribution and other terms if a marriage breaks up. Of course, a postnup is entered into after the parties marry and not before.
Some couples might not see a reason for a prenuptial agreement, but circumstances may change after marriage. One spouse’s career could take off, and their earning potential increases. With uneven earnings and asset accumulation, the new financial situation may lead some to take steps to protect their wealth.
The marriage could also suffer problems that raise the possibility of divorce. A spouse’s poor financial decisions, for example, may put a strain on the union. The spouses could settle their differences, and the troubling behavior could stop. If not, at least the postnup exists to protect one spouse if a divorce happens.
Examining a postnuptial agreement
Interestingly, a postnuptial agreement could decrease problems in a marriage. One spouse might not want to risk future assets in a divorce settlement. A postnuptial agreement may put those worries to rest and add some calm to a marriage. Each marital situation is different, but a postnup could help in some cases.
The agreement must be legal under state family law statutes. A poorly composed document might not be legally valid, and a court may rightfully ignore it.
Even a valid postnup could undergo significant legal scrutiny. Divorce proceedings may come with challenges, even when someone handles affairs competently.