Post Nuptial Agreements/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on March 3, 2019

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Much has been written about prenuptial agreements. They work best when there is a second marriage and/or when the parties wish to retain their own valuable holdings. However, these agreements have their critics as well. They bring an element of business negotiations into the love-based relationship we know as marriage. They potentially can cast a pall over what is meant to be one of the ultimate rites of passage that life may present.

Perhaps it is time to cast the spotlight on a different type of agreement known as post nuptial agreements. There are many reasons why a couple may wish to consider a post nuptial agreement. Some of the triggering events are outlined below:
1. The couple may have originally desired a prenuptial agreement but simply found the pressures of preparing for their wedding too time-consuming for such an undertaking.
2. New jobs, new business undertakings, new financial realities, etc arise after a marriage. A post nuptial agreement can address these lifestyle changes.
3. Events enter the life of a couple in the years that follow a marriage that may need be addressed. Medical emergencies, addictions and infidelity are three of many such examples. A post nuptial agreement could address some of these dramatic events that may change the nature of the relationship.
4. A spouse may wish to invest monies from e.g. an inheritance in the purchase of a home but may not wish to have such investment be considered part of the marital property. A recording of this fact in an agreement may spare much anguish if a divorce should follow.
5. There my be religious reasons that militate in favor of a post
nuptial agreement. For example,a Jewish couples may wish to write a clause about an agreement governing the religious divorce document known as a Get. Another scenario might see a document that governs the religious education or rites of passage of the couple’s children.

Prenuptial agreements have their pros and cons. But not having such an agreement need not be the end of the story. Post nuptial agreements may have positive contributions to make for a couple trying to plan for a meaningful future.

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