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The pros and cons of postnuptial agreements

On Behalf of | Apr 16, 2024 | Firm News

Given the high divorce rates in the United States, legal and financial experts often recommend that couples consider drafting a prenuptial agreement before getting married. This contract protects both spouses and their finances in the event of a divorce. If you did not set up one before the wedding, a postnuptial agreement can still enter the picture.

However, is it an intelligent choice to draft a marital agreement only after you have tied the knot? Here are the advantages and disadvantages of a postnuptial agreement:

Pros of drafting a postnup

  • Financial security: Much like a prenup, a postnuptial agreement can give you clarity and security about what will happen to your finances if things do not work out. This can reduce stress and potential conflicts in the future.
  • Greater financial maturity: Couples who marry young often lack the experience and maturity to engage in financial discussions, which are critical when drafting a prenup. Grown people who have spent more time in marriage tend to be more prepared to discuss their finances and circumstances.
  • Flexibility: Many unexpected changes can dramatically transform a couple’s financial situation. These changes could include the birth of a child, changes in careers and increases in wealth and inheritances. A postnuptial agreement enables you and your spouse to adjust your financial contracts to suit your new situation better, whatever it may be.

Cons of drafting a postnup

  • Potential for conflict: Bringing up the idea of a postnuptial agreement can sometimes create tension, as one might think the other is planning for a divorce or does not trust them. 
  • Invites more scrutiny in court: Because postnups enter the picture when a couple is already married, courts carefully examine these agreements more critically during a divorce proceeding. This heightened scrutiny looks into whether the deal was fair and signed without undue influence from one spouse over the other. 

Drafting a postnuptial agreement can deliver peace of mind and security to a married couple. However, it also comes with potential downsides that can be a source of emotional stress and conflict. If you are considering signing a postnup, an open and honest conversation with your spouse and the right legal guidance can go a long way.