A postnuptial agreement is a legal contract that is entered into by couples who are already married. It is similar to a premarital agreement but is created after a marriage.
A postnup offers married couples many benefits, especially those experiencing marital trouble or considering a divorce. Below are several other possible advantages of a postnup and a few drawbacks to consider.
Protects your kids
Those with children from prior relationships often worry that these kids will get nothing if their current marriage leads to divorce. A postnuptial agreement can allow you to ensure your children will receive specific assets, like family heirlooms that you brought into the marriage.
Improves property distribution
California is a community property state, and marital assets are split equally between spouses upon divorce. With a postnup, you can make your own decisions about who gets what. When the terms in your postnup are fair to both parties, the document may serve as your property division agreement.
Prevents a messy divorce
Sitting down together to create a postnuptial agreement can open a pathway to communication. For example, it could help you or your spouse feel better about requesting spousal support in the agreement. Discussing topics like this before a divorce may prevent bitter or messy proceedings.
Of course, there are some possible downsides to asking your spouse to sign a postnuptial agreement. For one, it could make them believe a divorce is imminent, even if that is not your intention. Second, the court may scrutinize the document more closely if you do seek a divorce.
When well-prepared, a postnuptial agreement can benefit your marriage and your divorce. Legal guidance can ensure the document contains no language or terms that the court may question.