Family Law Blog

The Rise and Rise of Postnuptial Agreements

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Many San Jose family lawyers find that there is little need to convince people about the need to sign a prenuptial agreement. However, an increasing trend that is especially suited for people who fail to sign a prenuptial agreement is the postnuptial contract. Statistics seem to indicate there has been an increase in the number of people asking for postnuptial agreements after the marriage.

Postnuptial agreements are very similar to prenuptial agreements, with the only difference that these are signed after the marriage has taken place. Postnuptial agreements are agreements between married couples, and currently all 50 states allow postnuptial agreements to be signed.

So, what can be covered in the postnuptial agreement? You can cover everything that is included in a prenuptial agreement, including how to divide assets in the event of a divorce, alimony, spousal payments, and other matters. In fact, an increasing number of people are now using postnuptial agreements to dictate terms about lifestyle choices that their spouses can make during the marriage. For instance, it's not uncommon to find prenups that clearly state that the spouse must not put on more than a specified number of pounds during the marriage. Not surprisingly, many postnuptial agreements also now have similar lifestyle clauses.

The need for postnuptial agreements is likely to be especially high in the case of same-sex married couples, who married before the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. For these people who bought property and invested in assets before the striking down of the law, a postnuptial agreement now presents a strong way to protect those assets in the case of the dissolution of the marriage. Postnuptial agreements are also ideal in those cases where one partner has received a major inheritance, or an expensive gift like a piece of property after the marriage, and want to protect this property.