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What is a postnuptial agreement?

Most people have at least a vague understanding of prenuptial agreements, but many do not know that married couples can also create postnuptial agreements. A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, with some key differences. In general, postnuptial agreements are less legally binding, but are still valuable for spouses who need to create boundaries or address significant changes in their finances.

Whereas prenuptial agreements must be created prior to marriage, postnuptial agreements occur once a couple is already married. Because the couple is already married, a postnuptial agreement has less legal authority, but that does not mean they are not useful.

For many couples, a postnuptial agreement is a useful tool for establishing some boundaries and creating room to breathe if one or both members of the marriage are nearing a breaking point.

One of the greatest aspects of creating a prenuptial agreement before marriage is that doing it properly requires couples to be fully transparent with each other about matters they might avoid entirely for months or years otherwise. When a couple chooses to create a postnuptial agreement, they can explore frustrating areas in their relationship in a professional, neutral environment. This process often helps couples who feel their marriage is in trouble create a structure for the relationship that protects them and allows them to begin again safely.

If you believe that you and your spouse could benefit from a postnuptial agreement, you can consult with an attorney who understands the intricacies of marital agreements to create a document that fully represents and protects each party.

Source: FindLaw, "What Is a Postnup? Do You Need One?," Jenny Tsay, accessed July 28, 2017

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