What Is A Post-Marital Agreement?

Most couples getting ready to wed are familiar with prenuptial agreements, but if you mention a postnupitial (or post-marital) agreement, most people are puzzled. This type of marital agreement is very similar to a prenuptial agreement, particularly in the manner that it focuses on the financial aspects of a married relationship. From the name, however, you may have deduced that this agreement takes place after the date of marriage. Read on to learn more.

Why have a post-marital agreement?

Even couples that have enough foresight to create a prenuptial agreement cannot predict the issues that could arise after the marriage, and that is what a post-marital agreement covers. Dealing primarily with financial issues, the post-marital agreement can be completed at almost any time after the date of the marriage; it's never too late to create this agreement. Anything that affects the couple's finances should be evaluated for inclusion in such an agreement, such as:

Businesses: Whether the couple owns a business together or separately, a smooth transition is called for when something happens to either party or the couple splits up. Here is wherecouples make plans for the continuation of the business after death or divorce and directs ownership, partnerships and more.

Estate matters: This agreement can be used to strengthen any wills or other estate instruments by naming specific beneficiaries for inheritance purposes. Where estate plans may be vague, this agreement spells out exactly who is entitled to inherit after a death. This issue can get especially touchy when it comes to marriages where there are children from different relationships and where children are married. When a will gets contested, a post-marital agreement adds more certainty.

Money matters: If you never got around to having a prenuptial agreement, here's your chance to do so. Just as with a prenup, you should focus on financial matters that might arise during the marriage and if it comes to divorce. Some of these include:

  1. Bills; who pays what
  2. Property; who owns what, the property owned by both parties prior to marriage and the deposition of joint property.
  3. Debts; who had what debts prior to marriage and where those debts now stand from here into the future.

What else to know about this agreement

  1. It's best if each spouse uses different lawyers to create this agreement.
  2. Use honesty when it comes to debt and property holdings.
  3. This agreement must be signed by both spouses.
  4. Leave out any provisions that address children, child custody, or support.

Speak with your family law attorney for more information about your post-marital agreement.