How Do Post-Nuptial Agreements Work?

Most of us have heard of pre-nuptial agreements, but have you heard of a post-nuptial agreement? Utah law recognizes the right of spouses to enter into a post-nuptial or post-marital agreement on the same terms as a prenuptial agreement. Here are some of the fundamentals behind post-nuptial agreements.

How is a post-nuptial agreement different from a pre-nuptial agreement?

Of course, the major difference between a pre-nuptial agreement and a post-nuptial agreement is the fact that a pre-nuptial agreement is established before marriage, and a post-nuptial agreement is established after marriage. The legal requirements of a post-nuptial agreement vary by state, so it is important to consult with an attorney who knows the laws of your particular state regarding post-nuptial agreements. If you live in the Salt Lake City area, we at Nelson, Taylor & Associates are fully prepared to advise you on your post-nuptial agreement needs.

What makes a post-nuptial agreement official?

Again, requirements do vary by state, but in general, a post-nuptial must be in writing, must be agreed upon voluntarily by both parties, and must involve full disclosure by both spouses of all assets and property owned.

What can a post-nuptial agreement do?

A post-nuptial agreement can establish rights to alimony and the division of property, the payment of death benefits under a life insurance policy, and other matters, in the event of divorce or death of one of the spouses. Many couples use the process of drawing up a post-nuptial agreement as an opportunity to survey and reassess the assets, debts, and spending habits involved in the marriage. A post-nuptial agreement can also answer questions like, “What property will be held individually vs. jointly?” “How will debt be handled between spouses?” “How will earnings be allocated?” and “How will my assets be distributed to my children from a previous marriage?”

If after getting married you find that you and your spouse feel uneasy when considering questions such as these, a post-nuptial agreement is definitely something for you to consider. A post-nuptial agreement, in reality, can be as simple or as specific as you and your spouse like, so such an agreement, in short can offer additional peace and stability to your marriage.

A marital agreement may be helpful in the event of death, and it is definitely helpful in outlining how finances are to be handled in a marriage, but it is generally not an effective substitute for comprehensive estate planning. The attorneys at Nelson, Taylor & Associates provide comprehensive family law services as well as estate planning services for families in the Salt Lake City area.