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What Are Postnuptial Agreements?

September 20, 2020 — by John Conger
Tags: Postnuptial Agreements Family Law Attorney

A smiling woman showing a document to a couple Prenuptial agreements can be a difficult topic to bring up before marriage, but sometimes a couple may find that they would have benefited from entering into an agreement. In such cases, a postnuptial agreement may be the right option. 

A family law attorney can help couples create a postnuptial agreement that takes both parties' interests into account. At Shore, McKinley, Conger & Jolley, LLP, our attorneys provide consultations for postnuptial agreements in Stockton, CA, Walnut Creek, CA and surrounding areas. 

What Is a Postnuptial Agreement?

Postnuptial agreements serve a similar purpose as prenuptial agreements. Both offer a means for couples to control the division of property, retirement benefits, and other issues in the event of a divorce. 

The primary difference is that unlike prenuptial agreements, which are entered into before a couple marries, postnuptial agreements are entered into after marriage or a civil union. 

Why Initiate a Postnuptial Agreement?

Relationships and finances change after marriage. While couples may have no intention of divorcing or legally separating, life is unpredictable and creating a postnuptial agreement can help provide some security and peace of mind in the event that a marriage ends. There are many reasons couples may decide to establish a postnuptial agreement. Some include: 

  • Desire to update prenuptial agreement: Couples who have a prenuptial agreement in place may find that their agreement is inadequate or needs to be updated in some way. Entering into a postnuptial agreement can help adjust the marital terms as both see fit. 
  • For the benefit of children of a previous relationship: A postnuptial agreement may be used to help ensure that children from a previous relationship receive specified assets in their inheritance. 
  • Debt accrued during marriage: Debt accrued during a marriage is often split equally in the event of divorce. If one of the spouses is responsible for a substantial amount of debt during the marriage, a postnuptial agreement may be written so that the debt is assigned accordingly.
  • One spouse stops working to care for children: In marriages with children, one spouse may stop working to raise the couple's children. A postnuptial agreement may be used to define what financial resources would be awarded to the non-working parent if the couple were to divorce. 
  • Couples considering divorce: Sometimes postnuptial agreements are entered into by couples preparing to divorce as a means to separate finances and other assets to help speed up the divorce process. 

A Family Law Attorney Can Help

Creating a postnuptial agreement can be confusing without the help of a family law attorney. A family law attorney can help couples in determining the provisions within their postnuptial agreement, like the division of debt, division of assets, and what spousal support may look like in the event of divorce. 

Schedule a Consultation 

If you live in or around Stockton and would to talk to a family law attorney about postnuptial agreements, call the law firm of Shore, McKinley, Conger & Jolley, LLP at (209) 477-8171 to schedule a consultation