Prenuptial agreements are imperative legal tools for people wishing to protect their assets as they are entering into a marriage. Postnuptial agreements are far rarer and serve the same purpose, except they are created during the course of a marriage.

While both are viewed negatively by some, pre- and postnuptial agreements serve an important role for couples, who individually, have significant assets. They are also sometimes used when one party has significant premarital assets, while the other one doesn’t. Bobbie is experienced in drafting prenuptial and postnuptial agreements as well.

Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement, commonly shortened to prenup, can be a valuable resource to establish before marriage. However, they are not a requirement, and in fact, not everyone needs a prenuptial agreement. They are designed to protect those who have significant assets, especially those who have significant assets entering a marriage to a partner who does not. For instance, if one party owns their own business, a prenuptial agreement can help ensure the business stays the responsibility of that party in the event of a divorce. Prenuptial agreements can also help determine to whom assets will be distributed in the event of one party’s death. If one or both of you have children from a previous relationship, a prenuptial agreement can provide protection there, as well.

Of course, keep in mind that prenuptial agreements should be drafted and executed by an experienced family law attorney. In the event of divorce or the death of one party, the prenuptial agreement will be carefully considered as part of any decisions made. Working with an experienced attorney can ensure that agreements meet the requirements of a legal prenuptial agreement, which can, in turn, help smooth and shorten potential legal divisions of assets. The idea is that prenuptial agreements can reduce time and hassle during divorce proceedings or the processing of a will, which can minimize stress during those emotionally fraught times.

You may want to consider a prenuptial agreement if:

  • This is not your first marriage
  • You have children from a previous relationship
  • You are bringing significant assets into the marriage
  • You are a business owner

Postnuptial Agreements

Though far less common, postnuptial agreements are the after-marriage equivalent of a prenuptial agreement. Most commonly, a postnuptial agreement is the written formalization of an oral prenuptial agreement. Working with a lawyer to create and execute a postnuptial agreement can help make those oral agreements legally enforceable in the event of divorce or the death of one party, similarly to a prenuptial agreement. Postnuptial agreements tend to be more specific than prenuptial agreements, and include:

  • Distribution of assets, specifically marital assets, when one spouse dies — especially for situations in which the surviving spouse waives rights to certain assets or property.
  • Agreements made in preparation for separation/divorce. The agreement for how to split finances, property, and other assets can help couples minimize time and cost of divorce proceedings. Postnuptial agreements which are legally drawn up and agreed upon by both parties can be more easily incorporated into the final divorce decree.
  • Agreements addressing how to divide assets acquired both before and during the marriage in the event of a future divorce. This can include property or finances, and often affects alimony.

One major subset of provisions that are not included in pre- or postnuptial agreements, however, are those pertaining to children from the union. Even agreements on custody or child support in a postnuptial agreement are generally not included during divorce proceedings because the onus goes first to the best interests of the child/children.

Bobbie is non-judgmental and wants to work with her clients to determine if this is the best option for them. She values the time she spends with her clients and recognizes the significance of the expense involved. She will always advise you on the alternatives available to you so that you can make the best choice considering all of your circumstances, including financial. A bit of preparation can make some of the most stressful times easier. Meet with Bobbie for a local Columbus family law attorney who can guide you through the ins and outs of the process and help you protect your assets.

*Note The courts give these documents extremely close scrutiny. Each party is strongly advised to have a family law attorney who represents the party’s best interests before prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are considered, drafted and executed