A postnuptial agreement, also known as a postnup or postmarital agreement, is a legally binding contract entered into by a married couple after they are already married. Similar to a prenuptial agreement (prenup), which is created before marriage, a postnuptial agreement outlines the rights and responsibilities of each spouse in the event of a divorce or separation.
Postnuptial agreements typically address issues such as property division, spousal support (alimony), division of debts, and other financial matters. They can also cover matters related to child custody and support, although these provisions may be subject to court approval and review.
The main purpose of a postnuptial agreement is to establish clear guidelines and expectations regarding financial matters in the event of a divorce or separation. By creating a postnup, couples can address potential conflicts and protect their individual assets, financial interests, and rights.
To be considered legally valid, postnuptial agreements generally require the following elements:
- Voluntary agreement: Both spouses should enter into the agreement willingly, without coercion or duress.
- Full financial disclosure: Each spouse must provide complete and accurate information about their assets, debts, income, and financial situation.
- Consideration: The agreement should include some form of consideration, which can be any benefit or exchange that both parties agree upon.
- Fair and reasonable terms: The provisions of the agreement should be fair and not overly one-sided or unconscionable.
- Written form: Postnuptial agreements must be in writing and signed by both spouses in the presence of witnesses or a notary public, depending on the jurisdiction.
It’s important to note that the laws regarding postnuptial agreements can vary from one jurisdiction to another. Therefore, it is advisable for couples seeking to create a postnuptial agreement to consult with a qualified attorney who specializes in family law in their specific jurisdiction to ensure compliance with local laws and to address any unique circumstances or concerns. At Amaral & Associates, P.C, we draft postnuptial agreements on a regular basis for our clients and have over 30 years of family law experience. Contact us today for more information by calling Attorney Edward L. Amaral, Jr. at (617)539-1010 ext. 111 or by email at email@example.com.