If you've already gotten married, it's too late to sign a prenuptial agreement. You can still, however, sign a postnuptial agreement.
Many people realize too late the benefits that a prenuptial agreement can offer. They protect your rights and property in the event of a divorce. Additionally they allow you to protect your spouse. If you failed to sign a prenuptial agreement, before getting married, you can still sign a property agreement between you and your spouse. After the marriage has occurred, they're called "postnuptial agreements".
Legal Ace can help you prepare your postnuptial agreement.
A postnuptial agreement is a contract entered into by a married couple which addresses property rights. Postnuptial agreements are typically written to deal with issues in the event of a divorce. Unlike prenuptial agreements (which are entered into before a couple gets married in anticipation of the marriage), postnuptial agreements are entered into after a couple gets married.
There are various reasons why couples seek out postnuptial agreements. Some have written prenuptial agreements and want to modify the terms because situations have changed. Sometimes couples have written prenuptial agreements with "sunset provisions", or clauses that cause the prenuptial agreement to expire after a certain amount of time. Others write postnuptial agreements as a way to come to an agreement about property before actually starting a divorce. Still others use them as a means to save their marriages by delineating whose property is whose and avoiding contention in the marriage regarding it.
Postnuptial agreements are typically held to the same or similar standards as prenuptial agreements. One major issue that you should be aware of, however, is that there is very little law specifically addressing postnuptial agreements. Also, there are certain scenarios in which postnuptial agreements will not be upheld. Namely, if the court feels that the agreement is completely unfair to one of the parties, or if the court feels that one of the parties was coerced into signing it. There is a small handful of states which do not allow postnuptial agreements.
Generally speaking, prenuptial agreements are stronger documents than postnuptial agreements. It’s difficult to say for certain how a court will interpret your agreements, however, it’s usually recommended that you not cloud a prenuptial agreement with a postnuptial agreement unless a long period of time has passed and circumstances are very different from when you signed your prenuptial agreement, or if your prenuptial agreement has a “sunset provision” (a clause that makes the agreement expire after a certain amount of time).
Postnuptial agreements should address only issues related to money or property. They do not usually address chores that a spouse must carry out. So for example, a postnuptial agreement stating that the family car remains the property of only one of the spouses, would very likely be enforceable. A clause requiring that one of the spouses do the laundry every week for the duration of the marriage would not.
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