Collaborative Postnuptial Agreements

Collaborative Postnuptial Agreements

A postnuptial agreement, also known as a “postnup,” is a legally binding contract entered into by a married couple to address financial matters and other issues related to their marriage. In California, a postnuptial agreement can be used to modify or clarify the terms of a prenuptial agreement, or to address issues that have arisen subsequent to their marriage.

A postnuptial agreement typically includes the following steps:

  1. Both parties retain separate attorneys to advise them on the terms of the agreement and to ensure that their legal rights are protected.
  2. The attorneys work together to negotiate the terms of the agreement, including provisions related to characterization of assets, responsibility for debts, and any other financial matters that the parties wish to address.
  3. The attorneys draft a written agreement outlining the terms of the postnuptial agreement, which is reviewed by both parties and their respective attorneys.
  4. Both parties sign the agreement in the presence of a notary public.

To ensure the enforceability of a postnuptial agreement it must be in writing, signed by both parties and notarized. Both parties must fully disclose their assets and financial information to each other in order to ensure that the agreement is fair, equitable, and enforceable.

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The Purpose of a Postnuptial Agreement

The specific reasons a couple will decide to enter into a postnuptial agreement may vary, but some common ones include:

  • the protection of a future inheritance
  • the ability to secure the disposition of personal wealth or assets
  • protection from a spouse’s personal debt
  • spouses having incompatible spending/savings patterns (a ‘saver’ married to a ‘spender’)
  • concerns about the future of the marriage based on events that have occurred since the marriage
  • The Benefits of a Postnuptial Agreement
  • Because the postnuptial agreement is negotiated after the marriage has taken place, the logic behind a postnup can differ from that of a prenup. A postnuptial agreement may be executed for a variety of reasons including:

A Lack of Time before the wedding: Wedding preparation and festivities are stressful and time-consuming. It may be that you intended to enter into a prenuptial agreement prior to the wedding, but only found the opportunity after the wedding bells stopped ringing.

Advice from a friend: Perhaps a confidante has persuaded you that a postnuptial agreement is a good idea to “play it safe,” despite the fact that you did not explore such an agreement prior to your marriage.

A Negative Postnuptial Event: Something may have occurred since your marriage that causes you to question the security of your marriage and your assets in the event of a divorce.

Ready To Learn More About Postnuptial Agreements?

With all the possible reasons to seek a postnuptial agreement, it’s a smart idea to at least chat with an experienced family law attorney about why you want the arrangement and what you hope to gain from it.

Ewing Mediation and Family Law provides sensitive and individualized service. They give you with the best legal advice possible and actively protect your best interests while remaining sensitive to the situation.