The family law attorneys at Protokowicz & Rodier offer four reasons a married couple should consider a postnuptial agreement.
With the marriage of two individuals also comes the marriage of those two individual’s assets. However, in the event you and your spouse decide to divorce, what was once 100 percent ownership of assets can soon result in 50 percent or even total loss of ownership, unless a postnuptial agreement was signed.
A postnuptial agreement is a legal contract signed by both individuals who are currently married. This agreement states the conditions and procedures each party will abide by in the event the couple were to divorce. Although there are many considerations that can go into developing a postnuptial agreement, the most important factor that is addressed is the division of marital assets.
Although it may seem intimidating, signing or even discussing the possibility of drafting a postnuptial agreement does not indicate that your marriage is in trouble. Just as you plan your estate to prevent your legacy from being divided against your wishes, people sign postnuptial agreements to protect their personal assets just in case the marriage takes a turn for the worse. In an effort to help prevent major headaches down the road, consider these four reasons that suggest you and your spouse should consider a postnuptial agreement.
- You and/or your spouse enter the marriage with a substantial amount of assets. If you obtained a considerable amount of assets or a large estate prior to getting married, a postnuptial agreement will help ensure that each spouse leaves the marriage with the assets they originally contributed if divorce is in their future.
- There are children from a previous marriage involved. When entering a marriage with children from a previous relationship, creating a postnuptial agreement will allow you to allocate certain funds or assets (if any) to your blood-related children that may have otherwise been distributed to your spouse or his/her children in the event of divorce or your death.
- You are the owner of a profitable business. If you are the owner of a profitable business during your marriage and you and your spouse decide to divorce, he or she could be entitled to a significant percentage of the business and its earnings because it’s considered a marital asset. However, with a postnuptial agreement in place, you can ensure that your business and its earnings stay with you at the time of the divorce and during future years.
- You received a large inheritance at some point during the marriage. In the event you inherit a large bequest during your marriage, you may want to consider signing a postnuptial agreement to confirm that the full inheritance remains with you after a marital split. Without a postnuptial agreement in place, the inheritance could become part of the marital assets if the money is comingled.
It’s imperative to address the desire for a postnuptial agreement if it is something that truly concerns you. Additionally, seeking legal representation can pose many benefits for providing a smooth process from day the agreement first gets mentioned to the day where you both sign on the dotted line. Having an outside party present can also help ease any tension brewing and provide clarity on areas of concern that may be confusing to put into words.
We understand that proposing the idea of a postnuptial agreement with your spouse can be uncomfortable and unnerving, but if it means giving each of you peace of mind and confidence in the development of your marriage, then it will be worth it.
For more information about drafting a postnuptial agreement or your personal family law needs, contact the family law attorneys at Protokowicz & Rodier.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide about the subject matter. A licensed Maryland attorney should be sought about your specific circumstances.