Marriage is more than a romantic partnership. It’s also a business agreement. A prenup can help determine the terms of that agreement. A postnup is what happens when you dissolve it.
Prenups discuss how many major issues of the marriage will be handled in the event of a divorce. This includes asset division, debt division, and spousal support. Child support and child custody for future children cannot be handled through prenups.
Everyone Needs a Prenup
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you don’t need a prenup just because you don’t have a lot of assets. Your situation could change in the future. You could create intellectual property that you will want handled a certain way. Your spouse may also come into the marriage with debts that can become yours if you’re not very careful. You should be especially invested in getting a prenup if either one of you plans to act as the “house spouse.”
Prenups must be fair to be enforceable. They must be made freely, without coercion or fraud. Hiding assets or debts from the other party can render the agreement null and void.
Clauses which talk about anything other than finances cannot be enforced. You can’t build in clauses demanding your spouse maintains a certain weight, for example, nor can you outline the number of times your spouse must engage in intimate relations with you each month.
Finally, it’s important to have a prenup if you have children from a previous marriage. This can ensure your spouse does not get custody of their step children. They may in turn wish to ensure they don’t end up paying child support for the children of a previous marriage.
Signing a prenup protects you both. It is not a sign that you don’t trust your partner, that you expect the marriage to fail, or that you don’t love your partner. It’s a sign that you care enough to make sure you are both fairly treated in the event that something changes.
What is a Postnup?
A postnup is a fancy way of saying “a divorce settlement.” A postnup is the divorce contract that governs the division of assets and debts at the dissolution of your marriage, as well as outlining spousal support payments, child support payments, and child custody arrangements.
Most of these agreements are drafted out of court, via a settlement. A judge still has to approve them.
In fact, a good family lawyer will generally tell you what you could reasonably expect a judge to do if you did take the matter to trial, and will advise you to keep your settlement offers within that window of reason. This also provides a guideline for evaluating whether your spouse’s settlement agreements are reasonable.
Why Trust Merchant Law With Your Prenup or Postnup Agreements
Merchant Law will work hard to negotiate the most advantageous agreement while double checking to make sure your prenup remains legally binding. We’re also more than adept at negotiating post nuptials.
You can trust us with all of your family law issues. Our experienced team is here to help.