Many couples are familiar with prenuptial agreements, which are completed before marriage, but they may not be familiar with a postnuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement, also called a postnup, applies after the couple is married and outlines their rights and responsibilities in the event of a divorce.
A postnup can address issues such as the division of marital property, spousal support and other financial considerations. A couple may choose to create a postnup if their finances have changed significantly since they were married, to confirm financial expectations for the relationship or to clarify business interests.
Older couples may also choose to execute a postnup as part of estate planning after many years of saving and investing, ensuring that their assets go to their chosen beneficiaries. This may apply in situations with adult children from previous relationships, for example.
The specific items in the postnup will vary, however they generally include an outline of how your assets and debts will be divided, whether one spouse will pay spousal support and if so, how much, and how household expenses and debts will be paid.
It may also address how a business will be divided if you divorce. If you have minor children in common, the court will decide child custody and child support issues. However, the postnup may include your intentions of how those topics would be handled.
You and your spouse must provide each other with a full financial disclosure before finalizing the postnup, which includes a detailed accounting of your assets, debts and income.