Any time during the marriage the spouses can prepare an agreement as to how their property will be divided if there is a separation or death. Postnuptial agreements are also written to make sure who owns and who can control the property during the marriage. If there was a prenuptial agreement, the spouses can amend it any time during the marriage. Agreements in contemplation of a divorce are known as marital separation agreements. Postnuptial agreements do require proper disclosure of assets, must be voluntary and must comply with state formalities in the preparation of the agreement
Reasons for a Postnuptial Agreement
Property acquisition after marriage: Many couples have little assets when they first marry but acquire significant assets after they marry. Some couples may want to make clear who really acquired the assets and who should have possession of them even though they’re married. For example, some couples have separate bank accounts, cars titled in separate names and businesses in different names. How these possessions should be titled isn’t always clear. A postnuptial agreement can make ownership clear.
Control Issues: There may be tactical business reasons why couples may have a postnuptial agreement. An agreement between spouses can often simply and clarify who can buy, sell or manage a business and who is responsible for the death of the business. It can make it easier to get loans. There are practical reasons for a postnuptial agreement independent of anticipating a divorce.
The Spouses Separate: Some couples aren’t ready for a divorce but still want to make sure all the property, child and support issues are resolved without litigation and with certainty. A postnuptial agreement can say who stays in the house, who can use which bank accounts and address all the property issues. It can also detail the custody and visitation issues and provide for support of the child and spouse. These postnuptial agreements are usually made with the thought that all the issues will be reviewed anew if there is a divorce.
Concerns about Death: The assets of a deceased person are handled through his/her estate. With effective planning, a postnuptial agreement can minimize the need for property to pass through an estate, can make it easier to manage the property after a death and can save taxes.
Contact the Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury
Northern Virginia attorney Afsana Chowdhury knows that couples may want to plan ahead or avoid disputes so they can focus on their marriage or live their lives comfortably during a separation. We’ll explain how postnuptial agreements work and draft them to protect your interests. Contact the Law Office of Afsana Chowdhury for an initial phone consultation at 703-271-6519, schedule a consultation online and for an appointment.