You may be no stranger to a prenuptial agreement. This legal document serves to eliminate a lot of the conflict in the event of a divorce by deciding on matters, such as property division, before the marriage takes place.
However, you cannot prepare for everything before marriage. Many concerns and circumstances do not become evident until many years after the wedding. This is where a postnuptial agreement comes in handy.
What can a postnuptial agreement include?
Although a postnuptial is similar to a prenup, it is usually best for only certain situations. These can include:
- Stay-at-home parenting: Parents who leave a high-income career to stay home with children need financial protection in the event of a divorce. This entails compensation for lost wages.
- High-asset marriage: Financial improvements are common throughout a long-term marriage. If your assets changed over the years, a postnup can address these changes. This can allow you to work around California community property law.
- No prenup: You may not have made a prenuptial agreement for whatever reason. That does not mean you are doomed for a contentious divorce. It is not too late to protect your future through a postnuptial agreement.
These are not the only times a postnuptial agreement may be beneficial. Speak to a lawyer to see if your circumstances warrant creating a postnup.
What are the requirements for a postnuptial agreement?
For your postnuptial to be valid, it must meet California legal requirements, some of which are different than for a prenuptial because of the marriage. These include being in writing, having complete disclosure of assets and not using any coercion to get a spouse to enter the contract.
There are also specific subjects you cannot put into a postnuptial agreement. A California family law attorney can tell you what those things are, guide you through the process and represent your best interests to ensure the validity and effectiveness of the agreement.