Post-Nuptial Agreements: Distributing Marital Property Before Divorce


Attorney, Michel L. Watson, Esq.


Understanding Post-Nuptial Agreements: Securing Your Financial Future

While many couples are familiar with prenuptial agreements, fewer may be aware of their counterpart – post-nuptial agreements. These agreements, executed after marriage, serve a similar purpose: to delineate the financial rights and responsibilities of each spouse in the event of divorce or separation. In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons why you might consider a post-nuptial agreement, what makes them valid, and the essential components necessary for their enforcement.

Why You Need a Post-Nuptial Agreement

Life is unpredictable, and circumstances can change in unexpected ways. A post-nuptial agreement provides a framework for addressing financial matters that may arise during the course of marriage. Whether it’s the acquisition of new assets, changes in income, or shifts in priorities, having a clear and comprehensive agreement in place can offer peace of mind and clarity for both spouses.

Validity of Post-Nuptial Agreements

Like prenuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements must meet certain criteria to be considered valid and enforceable. First and foremost, both parties must enter into the agreement voluntarily and with full disclosure of their financial circumstances. Additionally, the agreement must be fair and equitable, taking into account the respective needs and contributions of each spouse. Finally, the agreement should be executed in accordance with state laws governing contracts, including requirements for writing and notarization.

Identifying Separate Property and Ownership Rights

A crucial aspect of post-nuptial agreements is the identification of separate property and ownership rights. Separate property typically includes assets owned by each spouse prior to marriage, inheritances, gifts, and other assets explicitly designated as separate. By clearly delineating separate property in the agreement, couples can protect these assets from being subject to division in the event of divorce or separation.

Writing Requirements and Notarization

To ensure the enforceability of a post-nuptial agreement, it must be in writing and signed by both parties. Additionally, some states require that post-nuptial agreements be notarized to provide an added layer of authenticity and legality. By adhering to these writing requirements and notarization procedures, couples can bolster the validity of their agreement and minimize the risk of legal challenges in the future.

Conclusion: Securing Your Financial Future Together

In conclusion, a post-nuptial agreement can be a valuable tool for couples looking to protect their financial interests and plan for the future. By addressing key issues such as property division, spousal support, and asset ownership, couples can navigate the complexities of marriage with clarity and confidence. However, it’s essential to ensure that the agreement meets legal standards for validity and enforceability, including requirements for writing and notarization. With careful planning and consideration, a well-crafted post-nuptial agreement can provide peace of mind and stability for both spouses as they journey through life together.

Contact us with your Post-Nuptial questions today!