CAN I GET A PRENUP AFTER MARRIAGE?
You’ve most likely heard of a prenup before, but did you know that postnups also exist? Postnups, or postnuptial agreements, are very similar in nature to a prenup. But there are some key differences between the two. Couples, regardless of financial backgrounds, might want to consider a postnup as a monetary planning tool for the future. Hiring a postnup lawyer can have a significant impact on your future finances in the event of a divorce or separation. At Litvak Litvak Mehrtens and Carlton, P.C., we have over 65 years of experience in family law matters such as postnup agreements. Our experienced attorneys are ready to help you protect your assets and your rights. Contact us today to learn how our postnup lawyers can assist you.
What Is A Postnup Lawyer?
You might hear a postnuptial agreement also referred to as a post-marital contract. It is a legally binding agreement that takes place between two married individuals. Much like a prenup, a postnup contains arrangements for how to divide property, assets, debt, and income in the event of a divorce.
Both postnup and prenups work to help couples prepare for what could end with a worst-case scenario situation. Some people may think of these agreements as a pessimistic, cynical point of view for a marriage. But in reality, it is simply a precaution that could benefit both parties in the long run. It isn’t that you are assuming the worst, because in the best-case scenario you won’t even need to use your postnup agreement. Rather, it is a realistic outlook that recognizes the fact that sometimes things don’t always work out the way we would like them to.
Postnup Vs. Prenup
Though the two are similar agreements, there are some differences between a postnup and a prenup. The most obvious difference is the date of creation. A prenuptial agreement is drafted before a marriage takes place, while a postnuptial agreement gets drafted after the marriage has already taken place.
Depending on the state and the court itself, some might consider prenups to be more legitimate than postnups. This is because with a prenup, the two parties were still independent in their finances and established ownership before the assets were merged. For this reason, postnups might have more gray areas than a prenup might.
A couple might choose a postnuptial agreement if the marriage becomes unstable and the future of the relationship is in question. Without already having a prenup, the individuals might fear the loss of certain assets if the marriage ends in a divorce.
Another reason a couple might consider a postnup is if they’ve experienced a drastic change in finances or lifestyle during the marriage. For example, if one party comes into substantial wealth for something that was not anticipated before the marriage, they may want to establish legal ownership.
What Should Be Included In A Postnup?
In a postnup, couples are able to fit the agreement to their specific desires. Every marriage is different, and a postnup reflects that. Things included within a postnuptial agreement are generally the same as what is included in a prenup. It will most likely include how the couple would prefer assets, wealth, and debts be divided following a divorce.
Postnups are useful for distinguishing what is marital property and what will be considered separate. You may also determine who will keep the marital home, as well as who will need to pay mortgage, insurance, or taxes on it. Another thing you might want to consider including in your postnup is how retirement plans, student loans, or business assets should be handled.
Though there is no law forbidding the inclusion of child support or decision making in a postnup, judges may not permit this in court. This is because these aspects are meant to be determined by what is in the child’s best interest, not what the spouses may prefer.
What Are The Requirements For A Postnup?
Unlike prenups that become valid upon completion, postnups must be approved by a court before they are considered valid. A judge must ensure that the terms of the agreement are fair before allowing the contract to stand. Aside from a judges approval, there are a few other requirements that a postnuptial agreement must meet before it becomes valid. These include the following conditions:
- The postnuptial agreement must be written, signed and notarized.
- The agreement must include a fair and reasonable disclosure of assets and financial obligations between both parties.
- Threats, force, or emotional duress must not have influenced the creation of the agreement.
- Terms of the agreement must not appear unethical or lacking fairness.
Because postnups are often less enforceable than prenups, it may also be required that you have a postnup lawyer present in creating the agreement. Though it is not mandatory, it may help in reducing the chance that your contract gets dismissed in court.
Do I Need A Postnup Lawyer?
If postnuptial agreements aren’t drafted correctly, they may do nothing but complicate things further. Unfortunately, just because you have created an agreement in writing doesn’t mean that it is presumed to be admissible. You must be very diligent and carefully cover every base in going about this process. That is why it is crucial that you have a postnup lawyer to make sure everything is executed properly.
An attorney who is experienced in family law and postnup agreements will be able to understand what is required from each of you to make the contract valid in a court of law. They will review your assets and property and help you determine if an agreement is a good option for your specific circumstances.
Contact Denver High Asset Divorce Attorneys
If you’re considering a postnuptial agreement, you need the help of an experienced postnup lawyer. At Litvak Litvak Mehrtens and Carlton, we are dedicated to providing Colorado with the best possible representation in all family law matters. To discuss your situation with one of our attorneys today, give us a call at 303-951-4506. You can also schedule a consultation by completing our online form.