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The growing trend in postnuptial agreements


If a couple decides to forego a prenuptial agreement, it is possible to take the same protective measures with a postnuptial agreement. In fact, many married couples are seeking to protect assets by drafting a postnuptial agreement just in case a marriage ends in divorce.

While no couple plans to get a divorce right at the beginning of a marriage, this is a reality that all married couples need to consider. Common reports say that roughly half of all marriages end in divorce, so taking steps to ease this emotional and difficult process has become an essential step to take.

A postnuptial agreement, like a prenup, is a contractual agreement between spouses on what will occur if either spouse files for divorce. This legal document has grown in popularity over the past few years, and couples often have very different reasons for entering into a postnup rather than a prenup. And, because postnups have a shorter history than prenups, it can be harder to predict whether a divorce court will enforce them.

With regards to prenuptial agreements, these documents often get challenged. However, prenups hardly ever get thrown out of court. Thus, the validity of these documents are frequently proven. Nonetheless, if the proper steps are taken to draft and file a postnuptial agreement, couples should feel confident that the terms of the agreement would likely hold.

While every state in the U.S. recognizes the validity of premarital agreements, postnuptial agreements are on shakier ground. In some states, the rules are clear regarding postnups, but in other states the laws and precedents are vague. Thus, couples should be careful during the drafting process, because if there is uncertainty this could interrupt property division and other steps in the divorce process.

Those considering a postnuptial agreement should take the time to consider the steps involved in the drafting process and what could be included to ease the dissolution process. If a spouse of couple are dealing with divorce issues regarding a postnuptial agreement, it is imperative that they understand their rights and what steps could be taken to resolve the problem.

Source: Bloomberg.com, "Why More Couples Are Signing Postnuptial Agreements," Ben Steverman, April 28, 2017

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