Postnuptial agreements are becoming more popular among couples in the United States. Since 2008, the number of couples seeking postnups has increased by thirty percent. In a late 2015 survey, half the members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers stated that they were writing more postnups, and only two percent of AAML Lawyers said they were handling fewer.
A postnuptial agreement is a legal document created after a couple marries. Typically, it will outline ownership of financial assets in instances of divorce, separation, or death. Postnups can also include clauses about incurring debts and spousal/child support. A prenuptial agreement is not required in order for a couple to obtain a postnup, and often times a postnup will not void what’s written in a prenuptial agreement unless explicitly stated.
The subject of prenups and postnups can be confusing for many people. Although both legal documents sound similar, they are two distinct legal contracts; a prenuptial agreement is created before the marriage and a postnuptial agreement is created after.
A common misconception is that postnups are only for couples considering divorce, which is not the case. Changes in employment status, finances, family relationships, or business relationships may prompt a happily married couple to consider a postnup. Postnups can also clean up any issues in a prenup that a married couple feels need to be changed.
Creating a postnuptial agreement to fit your family’s situation will take a considerable amount of time and effort, and it is important to seek counsel that is skilled in addressing the unique problems and concerns presented.
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Partner at John F. Schutz, P.L.
Representing clients exclusively in family law cases for the past 24 years, Mr. Schutz is widely regarded as a marital and family law expert. He is Board Certified in marital and family law by The Florida Bar. As a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), Mr. Schutz is committed to elevating the standards and improving the practice of family law.
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