While postnuptial agreements are relatively rare, they can be very useful documents in the event that certain circumstances quickly deteriorate an otherwise strong marriage. By outlining the rights and responsibilities that you and your spouse will have in the future, a postnuptial agreement could create a sense of certainty and finality about various issues that lets everyone move past a serious dispute and may even strengthen your marriage in the end.
Crafting an enforceable post-marital contract, however, may necessitate input from a qualified Forsyth County postnuptial agreements lawyer. Consulting with our experienced legal team could also help you understand the process, learn the benefits of creating a “postnup,” and make an informed decision about whether a postnuptial contract would help you and your spouse resolve a conflict.
Postnuptial agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements in that they are binding contracts between spouses that address various marital issues. The only difference between the two is that postnuptial agreements are created after marriage begins, whereas prenups are formed before any vows are exchanged.
Postnups can be important because they are a means for spouses to resolve their differences in a binding way before a conflict becomes too intense and emotional. Partners can then rely on those agreements and the solutions they establish as they move into the future together.
One scenario in which a postnuptial agreement might help a couple significant is when one spouse inherits a substantial amount of money or property from a recently-deceased relative. Postnuptial agreements can insulate this property from becoming part of the marital estate, preventing it from being split in the event of a divorce.
Another situation that could benefit from a postnuptial agreement is when a spouse obtains a valuable family heirloom and wants to make absolutely certain that it stays within the family. By providing for the eventual disbursement of the heirloom through a postnup, a spouse could ensure that it does not become part of the marital estate, get recovered by the other spouse in the event of a divorce, and eventually passed down to the other spouse’s children from a subsequent marriage.
Because postnuptial agreements make a potential divorce proceeding much simpler, quicker, and less expensive, courts in Forsyth County generally make a point of enforcing them so long as they are fair and equitable. Therefore, when a marriage dissolves into a divorce and there is a postnuptial agreement in play, courts will look to various factors to ensure the agreement’s validity.
Specifically, the court would consider whether the agreement was the result of fraud, duress, mistake, or another form of misrepresentation, whether the agreement is unconscionable, and whether circumstances have changed so much that the postnuptial agreement has become unfair. If none of these problems are apparent, the court is likely to enforce the postnuptial agreement to expedite the divorce process. A seasoned Forsyth County lawyer could go into further detail about what makes for a valid post-marital agreement.
Not all postnups are precursors to divorce. In fact, many of them are valuable tools that can be used to solidify the rights and responsibilities of spouses who want to protect particular assets. In most cases, signing a post-marital contract ends up relieving vast amounts of stress and can actually serve to strengthen a marriage.
With the insight and assistance of a Forsyth County postnuptial agreements lawyer, you too could benefit from the certainty that a postnup may bring to your marriage and rest assured that the contract will likely be enforced by a court in the future, should it ever become necessary. To learn more or to schedule an initial meeting with our intake team, call today.