Most of us have heard of prenuptial agreements, but there is typically less awareness about post-nuptial agreements. For couples that have already gotten married and did not have a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement can be an option to consider. Postnuptial agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements in that they both provide financial security and stability in a legal contract that both parties agree to voluntarily, the main difference is that post-marital agreements are for couples that have already taken their vows.
A postnuptial agreement can address a couple’s financial matters, with plain language that dictates how assets will be divided if they later decide to get divorced, or in the event of the death of either or both parties. Couples choose to develop a postnuptial agreement for a variety of reasons, and even if you think you may never need it, speaking with a postnuptial agreement attorney for a professional analysis of your situation.
We conduct a thorough interview and analysis and help you develop a post-nuptial agreement that addresses all your concerns.
Our Chicago family attorneys are experienced with helping you develop a post-nuptial agreement that is fair and equitable to both parties.
Post-Nuptial Agreements: Is it Right for You?
There are several reasons why a couple may opt for a postnuptial agreement, although protecting property and assets is the most common driving force. More couples are seeking postnuptial agreements for several reasons which may include:
The disproportion of wealth – If there is a substantial disproportion of wealth between the two parties, they may wish to develop a plan for how property and assets would be divided in the event of divorce.
Children from a prior marriage – When one or both spouses have children from a prior marriage or relationship, they can protect their child’s right to their estate in the event of their death or divorce. Depending on the situation and how other contracts and beneficiary forms are completed, a widow or ex-spouse may have the right to claim property and assets you intended to leave to your children. Speak with a postnuptial agreement attorney to protect your children from unintended consequences of your marriage.
Medical or health problems – when one spouse is experiencing serious health issues, the couple may become concerned about estate planning and division of assets and property.
Infidelity – if one spouse has exhibited a lack of commitment to the marriage with behavior such as infidelity, the couple may be wondering what will happen if their marriage ends in divorce. Postnuptial agreements could also be used to outline a better financial outcome for the spouse who was wronged in a divorce due to infidelity.
Witnessing a contentious divorce – couples may wish to explore postnuptial agreements after witnessing a hostile and highly contentious divorce. If a friend, acquaintance, or loved one experiences the stress of an antagonistic, lengthy, and costly divorce couples may choose to prevent a similar experience by settling any differences now.
Tax implications – if tax implications have been discovered that were not considered previously, the couple may choose to explore a postnuptial agreement to maximize tax savings. If you have acquired assets and properties, you should speak with a postnuptial agreement attorney to learn your options. There are tax laws which allow married couples to transfer property tax-free if the transfer is deemed as a gift.
Future inheritances or family-owned businesses – if you’re part of a family-owned business, or expect to receive future inheritances, post-nuptial agreements can be helpful in protecting the family business and your inheritances.
As you can see, there are several valid reasons to explore the benefits provided through post-marital agreements. Keep in mind that these agreements are not designed for couples who are already considering divorce. If designed and implemented properly, post-nuptial agreements allow for couples to continue in their marriage while alleviating unresolved issues or burdens caused by “what-if” scenarios regarding future allocation of assets and properties.
Benefits of Post-Nuptial Agreements
There are many benefits of post-nuptial agreements, as couples have several reasons for implementing them. Some advantages include protection in the following areas:
Less costly and uncomplicated divorce – One of the greatest advantages is that if the marriage does end in divorce, having this legal agreement in place would reduce financial burden, emotional stress, and facilitate an uncomplicated and uncontested divorce.
Estate planning provides peace of mind – in the event of the untimely death of one spouse, there is no quibbling or bickering among the survivors and you can rest assured that your children or family members will be provided for according to your wishes.
Reduces stress in the marriage – a properly drafted post nuptial agreement will reduce stress in the marriage as both parties are aware and in full agreement of the provisions.
The court has the authority to throw out a post-nuptial agreement that is believed to be unfair or if your spouse did not understand the agreement completely. Working with a respected post-nuptial agreement attorney will ensure that both provisions are met.
What if My Spouse is Suggesting a Postnuptial Agreement?
If your spouse is suggesting a post-nuptial agreement, be sure to contact us for a thorough consultation. Post-marital agreements should not be taken lightly as it is a legally binding contract. If you’re spouse has presented you with one to sign or would like to have one drafted, it is important that you hire a separate attorney to ensure you are protected.
Post-Nuptial Agreement Attorney
No one goes into a marriage thinking that it will end in divorce, but if you do not take preparations to protect your property, assets and your children’s future, no one else will. A skilled postnuptial agreement family law attorney will guide you through the process and explain all your rights and options.
Anderson & Boback know what it takes to develop post nuptial agreements that are fair and equitable, that protect the estates of both parties and any involved children and will stand up in court.