Many people think there’s no way to get a prenup after they’re married, but postnuptial agreements in the U.S. actually started being more common and enforceable after the 1970s. Whether you simply didn’t get around to your prenup before your wedding or you didn’t think you needed one and want it now, O’Keefe Family Law can help you get your postnup today. Here’s what you need to know.
For postnuptial agreements to be enforceable, it has to meet a few key requirements (which are similar to prenups):
- Written. Postnuptial agreements have to be in writing to be considered valid, and oral agreements won’t be considered.
- Voluntary. Both you and your partner must voluntarily and intentionally sign the agreement. If there’s evidence of coercion, the postnup will be null.
- Full disclosure. If you or your partner don’t disclose all information necessary, the postnup would later be null as well. It can’t be enforced later if the original agreements were made with different terms and information in mind.
- Balanced and fair. If the postnuptial agreement is clearly one-sided and obviously helps one party more than the other, it won’t be enforced.
- Meet state requirements. Just as with prenuptial agreements, the postnup must meet the law’s requirements in the state of residence. Bobbie is experienced in divorce law in Columbus and knows all requirements well.
Just because you’re considering getting a postnup doesn’t mean you’re considering divorce; it’s important to avoid the stigma associated with both pre- and postnuptial agreements and remember why you’re doing it. Most likely, you want to avoid stress during hard times like divorce or death — if either of those were to happen in the future. Detailing what would happen in these situations can be hard to deal with and it’s sometimes hard to even know what to include in your postnuptial agreement. Here are a few questions to get you thinking:
- How will you divide property and other assets?
- Will one of you pay spousal support? How much and for how long?
- How will you handle or divide debt? This includes any credit card debt, mortgage loans, or even student loans accrued after marriage.
- What will happen to assets if a spouse dies during marriage?
We can discuss all of this further during a future appointment. That being said, there are specific times we at O’Keefe Family Law recommend getting a postnup with us.
- If spouses have children from previous relationships, it’s a good idea. A postnup will help protect children’s inheritances no matter what happens.
- If a spouse has been financially irresponsible and lost a lot of money or, conversely, if a spouse suddenly receives a big raise or wins the lottery are both good situations to discuss getting a postnup.
- One we often see is when one spouse stops working to stay home and care for children; when this happens a postnup can make sure he or she will have the financial means necessary if the marriage were to end in divorce.
Whatever your situation is, we’re happy to help and we know we have the resources and experience to do so. Reach out to us today to get going on your postnuptial agreement.