No couple walks down the aisle assuming the marriage will end at some point in the future. It may not seem necessary to consider drafting a prenuptial agreement before the wedding, and New Jersey couples often skip this step that could be important to them in the future. If you did not draft a prenup before you walked down the aisle, you have the option to draft a postnuptial agreement.
A postnuptial agreement is a document that will provide you with similar protections you would get with a prenup. While a marital contract can provide couples of all income levels with protection, it is not essential in every situation. You may benefit from learning more about this type of agreement and why it could be useful for you and your spouse.
Changes in circumstances
Financial circumstances can change drastically over the years after a couple marries. In most cases, significant changes in circumstances could make it important for you to have a marital contract of some kind. Situations where a postnuptial agreement could be useful include:
- One or both spouses are wealthy or own a business.
- One or both spouses have children from previous marriages.
- One spouse recently inherited a substantial sum of money or valuable assets.
Even if you do not consider yourself or your spouse wealthy, you may regret not drafting a prenuptial agreement. Either type of marital contract can help you protect separate assets, determine property division in case of a divorce and outline spousal support. This can take much of the stress and contention out of the divorce process. Additionally, a postnup can help prevent disputes between heirs and your surviving spouse.
Eliminating the chance of contention
Drafting a postnuptial agreement does not mean you assume your marriage will end in divorce at some point in the future. It simply means you want to be prepared for this possibility and reduce the chance of costly and stressful litigation if it does happen.
If you are unsure of the benefits of a marital contract, you may want to consider how your circumstances have changed since you married and what you may need to protect yourself and your kids. A careful assessment of your situation may help you understand what legal steps could be the most beneficial for your individual circumstances.