A postnuptial agreement is a legally binding contract for married couples, specifying how they manage finances and property in case of divorce, offering asset protection.
One may not always need a lawyer for a postnuptial agreement. Here’s the lowdown on postnups.
What is a postnuptial agreement?
A postnup is a pre-divorce agreement for specifying asset division, spousal support, and debt allocation before legal proceedings.
You can create it alone or with a divorce attorney, but must adhere to state requirements for validity.
Issues covered in a postnup
In divorce, property division is crucial. A postnup allows you and your spouse to pre-agree on asset distribution, reducing future time, cost, and stress.
Alimony and spousal support
A postnup clarifies financial support if one spouse can’t work post-divorce. Without it, a judge might decide support, potentially not in your best financial interest.
If you share joint debt with your spouse, a postnup can specify who handles that debt in a divorce, crucial if one spouse has poor credit or financial issues.
Protecting business assets
For business owners, a postnup safeguards assets in divorce or death scenarios, preventing costly legal disputes that drain resources needed for business operations.
Benefits of involving a lawyer in a postnuptial agreement
Utilizing a lawyer for your postnup offers several advantages:
- Ensures legality and enforceability of the agreement.
- Saves time and reduces stress, particularly for complex financial situations.
- Enhances enforceability in court with professional involvement.
While lawyer fees are higher, a self-drafted postnup may lead to legal complications during divorce.
Benefits of doing it yourself
Couples often assume they need a divorce lawyer for a postnup, but that’s not always the case.
If you and your spouse have good communication and can discuss finances, you can create the agreement yourselves.
The key advantage of DIY postnups is cost savings. In straightforward cases, online templates can suffice.
It’s also a quicker process when done with your spouse, potentially over a weekend, provided you cover all assets and debts.