There may be a time in your marriage where you wish you had planned ahead and set out how you wanted to handle your property through a prenuptial agreement. However, if that agreement was not created before the wedding, a Minnesota postnuptial agreement can still be fashioned in a manner that holds similar legal force as one entered pre-marriage.
A postnuptial agreement can address matters such as property division, and spousal support if the couple eventually files for divorce. This agreement can streamline the divorce process, saving both parties a substantial amount of time and money. Although the details of the agreement are the most critical part of a postnuptial agreement, there are other benefits to the process beyond the crafting of the agreement’s language.
What Are Some Good Reasons for Entering Into a Postnuptial Agreement?
Saving the Marriage
The financial circumstances of a married couple can change significantly over the years. There may come a time where the couple will need to have a frank conversation about their finances and what type of division would occur if the parties separate.
If the parties are going through counseling in an attempt to save the marriage, this may be an ideal time to address the need for a postnuptial agreement. Not only may this protect both parties, should a divorce eventually be filed, but it can also create an open dialogue about the financial issues that could assist in saving the marriage.
One of the significant causes of divorce has to do with spouses’ different attitudes towards money and spending or saving. An agreement that governs how each party’s income and assets will be owned and controlled can help to resolve conflicts.
You Didn’t Have Time or the Desire to do a Prenup, But Now You Want an Agreement
If either or both spouses have lots of assets they want to protect from any claim from the other, then it can still be done during the marriage through a postnuptial agreement. The benefit of an agreement made after the wedding is that there is not the time pressure that usually goes with a prenup.
Bad Behavior During the Marriage
There may be an instance where one spouse has an affair, becomes addicted to drugs or gambling, is incurring a large amount of debt or is otherwise irresponsible with the income and assets of the marriage. One spouse may insist on protecting himself or herself from financial ruin by entering into a postnuptial that dictates how income and property will be owned if the marriage were to end.
Requirements for a Postnuptial Agreement
The requirements for a valid agreement are similar to those for a prenuptial agreement:
- Must be in writing
- Signed by two witnesses
- Parties must be represented by counsel
- Must be a full disclosure of income, assets, and debts.
A postnuptial agreement will be presumed invalid if it is entered into with two years of filing for divorce or legal separation. The agreement must also be procedurally and substantively fair at both the time it was entered into and at the time of the divorce, just like a prenuptial agreement.
Contact an Attorney Experienced with Postnuptial Agreements
Postnuptial agreements can serve a multitude of purposes. Although efficiency in a Minnesota divorce proceeding is one of the principal goals, the act of planning and negotiating a postnuptial agreement can also have substantial benefits in saving a marriage. If you and your spouse are considering pursuing a postnuptial agreement, it is wise to contact the experienced attorneys at Perusse Nixon, PLLC to help.