Most people are familiar with pre-nuptial agreements. These documents set terms for what occurs should a couple divorce. While they are challenging to bring up before a marriage takes place, they are crucial for protecting your financial best interests.
If you failed to implement a pre-nup prior to getting married, a post-nuptial agreement is another option. According to U.S. News & World Report, post-nups are similar to pre-nups, except for the fact that they occur after a marriage.
Reasons for a post-nup
Divorce agreements can protect stay at home spouses in case the marriage ends. The spouse that is primarily responsible for caring for your children will have difficulty finding gainful employment after spending so much time off work. In this case, a post-nuptial agreement ensures they have a reasonable income after divorce.
A post-nup also protects children from a previous relationship. You can use this document to ensure your children receive a portion of your assets in the event you pass away during the marriage. If there are disputes, the court might decide to award all assets to your spouse and children you share with them, leaving kids from previous relationships out in the cold.
Elements included in a post-nup
While agreements vary greatly from couple to couple, a post-nup document should clearly stipulate your financial desires after divorce. This includes information on income, retirement assets, property, money from investments, legal fees, child and spousal support, insurance proceeds, and any other assets.
Only post-nups considered enforceable will hold up in court. You must also show that your former spouse signed the document without pressure or coercion.
Whether you choose a pre-nup or post-nup, it is best to have financial conversations before a marriage takes place. While these subjects are sensitive, they ensure you and your partner are on the same page financially.