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Why many couples are forgoing prenups for postnups

Many Minnesota couples are told to get a prenup before walking down the aisle, especially if they have assets they want to keep in the event of a divorce. But if they don't, for some reason or another, all is not lost. In fact, many couples are waiting until after the wedding to draft prenuptial agreements - but in this case, they're called postnuptial agreements.

Postnuptial agreements are used to protect assets, since things can change after the wedding. A person with no assets could win the lottery and suddenly become rich. A wife might discover that her husband is a gambler. A husband might find out his wife is a wanted criminal. These are examples of situations in which a person may want to draft an agreement later on in the marriage.

A postnuptial agreement can also be helpful for estate planning purposes. Family situations change; loved ones die and new ones are born. Sometimes a child may require expensive lifelong medical care. A person may start a business and want to keep most of it without having to split it 50/50.

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are the same in that both require a full disclosure of assets. Assets cannot be hidden or else the document will be void. In addition, both are legal documents that should be thought through carefully.

While creating such a contract may seem easy, it's actually quite complicated. There are laws that must be followed, such as the agreement cannot contain requirements regarding child custody or support. In addition, the contract must be agreed upon by both parties, which can be difficult considering that both parties will likely want their fair share of everything in a divorce. An experienced professional can help guide parties through the requirements and negotiations necessary to complete the paperwork.

Source: Palm Beach Daily News, "Legal vows: Married couples entering postnuptial agreements," Dian Vujovich, June 27, 2015

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