With the increasing divorce rates around the country, many married couples are looking into ways to avoid or streamline a divorce. Many are finding that post-nuptial agreements can help. Indeed, there are some signs that a post-nup is a good idea.
Post-nups can dictate marital expectations and consequences for not following them, which can help solve marital disagreements. For example, if a spouse was unfaithful, a post-nup could mandate consequences if that behavior continues, like alimony, a higher percentage of the marital estate, etc. Another example is addictions, like drugs, alcohol or gambling. Continued use could be prohibited by the post-nup, and consequences for that continued behavior could be written in as well. Even something like the number of mother-in-law visits can be outlined. Sitting down with an attorney and counselor can help craft a post-nup that could bring a marriage back together.
Wealth, including a large inheritance
If one or both spouses bring a significant amount of pre-marital assets into the marriage, or expect to receive a large inheritance, a post-nup is a good idea. Fighting over these amounts later could significantly reduce the marital estate. And, laying out what is “fair” to both spouses now, when both parties are still amicable, can save a lot of heartache later too.
Speaking of money, if either or both spouse are business owners, a post-nup is a smart choice. Without one, an ex-spouse could claim a percentage of the business entity itself or the business’s earning. In extremely heated divorces, there could be some kind of forced sale or other negative affects to a business.
Children from previous marriages
For families with children from previous marriages, a post-nup is essential. This ensures that children share assets according to the wishes of the parents, rather than by post-death estate documents or state law. Without one, most states automatically give the current wife/husband a specified share of the passed spouse’s estate. Of course, for Monterey, California, residents thinking about post-nups, one should contact an attorney prior to signing anything.