Do I need a postnuptial agreement?

A postnuptial agreement is a written contract signed and executed after the couple gets married detailing how to handle family matters if the marriage ends in divorce.

Having a postnuptial agreement is more common than you think. Like the contents of a prenuptial agreement, it can include provisions for property division, support, etc. It is best to create one when one spouse is about to start his or her own business. By having an agreement, if divorce follows down the road, the other spouse is not entitled to anything – if that’s what the business owner wants.

How about when separate property, such as an inheritance, is used to purchase community property, such as the marital home? A postnuptial agreement allows the ‘separate property’ spouse to get the same benefits as if it had been kept separate.

Finally, it’s recommended to have an agreement if this is a second marriage or for estate planning purposes.

Courts, for the most part, scrutinize postnuptial agreements. When a couple enters into a postnuptial agreement both have defined legal rights regarding support and property division. You must take great care when negotiating an agreement in good faith.

If you and your spouse have questions regarding a postnuptial agreement, it is wise to contact an experienced Orange County family law attorney. Contact the law offices of Amy M. Montes because having an attorney makes it much more difficult for either party to later seek to challenge the agreement or state that they didn’t understand the document.