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What is a post-nuptial agreement?

A post-nuptial agreement is the equivalent of a prenuptial agreement, with the exception that it takes place after a couple is married. Some couples may say that if their spouse approached them about a post-nuptial agreement, it would be a deal breaker that would end the relationship. While that may be the case in some instances, in other it can actually be a step towards saving a marriage.

So when would a post-nuptial agreement be necessary? There are many reasons for consideration, but here are a few examples.

If one spouse starts a new business during the marriage, he or she may want a post-nuptial agreement stating that should the marriage end the business will still belong to him or her. Alternatively, spouses may decide to start a business together and decide to put a post-nuptial agreement in place insuring that each would be responsible for one-half of the business debt should they split.

Another example, and one that could potentially save a marriage, would be for a couple on the verge of divorce over financial matters to enter a post-nuptial agreement that will solidify a settlement agreement. This way, financial concerns are taken off the table and the couple can focus on other issues knowing that if they cannot be resolved their assets will be protected in a divorce. Having this peace of mind can allow a couple to communicate more openly, thereby offering a greater chance of reconciliation.

Post-nuptial agreements are not always a bad thing and can be a useful tool when things get rocky. Contrary to popular belief, marriages are not always ended in an attorney's office. They can sometimes be mended.

Source: Huffington Post, "Why a Post-Nuptial Agreement Can Save Your Marriage," Lynn Maier, Dec. 7, 2011

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