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Should you consider a postnuptial agreement?

| Oct 23, 2018 | Family Law

You and your spouse married when you were young. Neither one of you brought any assets into the marriage beyond some second-hand furniture and small savings accounts — dwarfed in value by your student loan debt. You didn’t even consider a prenuptial agreement.

However, things have changed. Maybe one of you makes considerably more money than the other and/or has started a business. Perhaps one of you is leaving your job to be a full-time parent. Maybe one of you has incurred a significant amount of debt. Perhaps one of you is going to be inheriting a significant amount of money. Whatever the case, one or both of you wants to put something in writing to protect yourself in a divorce. That’s what a postnuptial agreement is for.

A postnup serves the same purposes as a prenup — such as detailing how assets and debts would be divided in a divorce. It’s simply put in place after the marriage — sometimes shortly after and sometimes decades later.

Sometimes, a couple will get a postnup when one spouse has cheated on the other or done something else to put the marriage at risk. In some cases, that spouse will suggest a postnup that is highly favorable to their partner as a way of convincing them that they are committed to making the marriage work.

In some cases, one spouse didn’t want to broach the subject of a prenup before the marriage even though they knew they should. They have children from a previous marriage or relationship that are adults now and concerned that they could lose their inheritance to their stepparent without a postnup.

If you see yourself in any of these scenarios, you may be wondering how to bring up the subject to your spouse. Often, it’s more difficult to convince someone to sign a postnup than a prenup — especially if you’re trying to protect yourself due to an imbalance of assets. A postnup request may send a signal that you think the marriage is in trouble — whether it is or not.

If you’re considering asking your spouse for a postnup, remember that you can (and should) have your own attorneys. That may be one selling point for you. Your own Arizona family law attorney can likely provide some other suggestions for convincing your spouse that a postnup is a good idea for both of you.

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