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Understanding postnuptial agreements

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2020 | Divorce

Most newlyweds are not thinking about divorce. If you’re smitten with your new spouse, you may not even have considered a prenuptial agreement. Yet even if your odds of divorcing are low, you may wonder if you need to draft a document, just in case.

Thankfully, you and your spouse can make a postnuptial agreement. Before you do, consider these tips.

When postnuptial agreements make sense

If you have few assets and decide to forego a prenup, you will not need to create a postnuptial agreement right after getting married. But down the road, changes in circumstance may make you reconsider your decision. If you and your spouse become wealthy, you will want a plan for dividing your property. You may also discover that your spouse is irresponsible with money, and a postnuptial agreement could save you from future financial stress. Or, one of you could receive an inheritance or windfall that you want to protect in case of a split. In these cases, a postnuptial agreement improves the odds of security for both of you.

Challenges of postnuptial agreements

If you and your spouse have a significant income gap, a postnuptial agreement could put one of you at risk of economic hardship. But by California law, you have a fiduciary duty to your spouse both during and after marriage. Any postnuptial agreement you and your spouse create must account for this provision. Some people also try using postnuptial agreements to avoid paying child spousal support. But a hearing or mediation decides terms of maintenance.