Perhaps you and your spouse did not sign a prenuptial agreement, or perhaps you are both on your second marriage.
Changes happen in life, and you feel the time is right to put certain goals and responsibilities down on paper. Here are four reasons for creating a postnuptial agreement:
- Identify marital and separate property
You may own a vintage car that you bought prior to your marriage. This may be separate property, while the speedboat may be separate property belonging to your spouse. Together you own your primary residence. You have separate retirement accounts but a joint checking account. You should identify your separate and marital property in the postnuptial agreement. This will save a great deal of time and emotional strain relative to property division in the event that you divorce.
- Provide for asset distribution
Your postnuptial agreement can specify which beneficiaries should receive certain assets in the event of your death. For example, if you have remarried but have children from a former marriage, you want to provide for them according to your wishes. Keep in mind that if you divorce, you should divide your assets equitably.
- Assign debt
The postnuptial agreement is a good place to show who is responsible for what debt, but you should exercise care here. If, for example, you want to assign more debt to your spouse because he or she spends irresponsibly, you should explain that in the agreement.
- Divide marital responsibilities
Some couples find that postnuptial agreements are protective and can support a marriage. You may want to include the right to check the other spouse’s credit scores or the right to review all bills prior to payment. However you structure it, you should have a fair and just postnuptial agreement in all respects, or it will not stand up in court.