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Could your marriage be saved by a postnup?

If you declined to draft and sign a prenuptial agreement before marrying your spouse, you might think that there is nothing else that you can do at this point. But that may not be the case.

At any point after your marriage, you and your spouse can freely enter into a postnuptial agreement stipulating certain terms and/or financial arrangements should the marriage end.

Just as with a prenup, some couples find that signing a postnuptial agreement can put them on surer footing in their marriages. Below are some circumstances where a prenup might be ideal:

Infidelity occurred

Seeking intimacy outside of a marriage can end it. But sometimes wives and husbands agree to give an unfaithful spouse a second chance. Drawing up a postnup with very favorable terms to the faithful spouse if cheating occurs again can indicate a strong commitment to going the distance.

It's a second (or subsequent) marriage

If you have children with a former spouse or partner, a postnup can protect their financial interests in the event of a divorce.

Even if you do not have a prenuptial agreement in place before you tie the knot, you can sign a postnuptial agreement for similar reasons afterward.

Fiscal irresponsibility

One spouse may be a spendthrift or develop a gambling addiction that jeopardizes marital resources. An ironclad postnuptial agreement could bolster the position that outstanding debts unrelated to living expenses are the liability of the spendthrift spouse.

One spouse didn't work outside the home

Some parents trade lucrative careers for the rewarding job of rearing the kids as stay-at-home moms and dads. But should the marriage go south, those parents can find themselves unemployable. A well-written postnup can address this inequality.

By making expectations and consequences clear to both spouses, a postnuptial agreement can give them both freedom and peace of mind.

Source: ABC News, "Forget the Prenup: Why You May Need a Postnuptial Agreement," A.J. Smith, accessed June 01, 2018

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