The rate of divorce has increased over the years, but that does not make the dissolution of a marriage any easier. Many spouses never expect to divorce after exchanging their wedding vows, and for many, it can come as a bit of a shock. While prenuptial agreements can help address the unwanted effects of divorce, this process must be completed before the marriage actually takes place. Fortunately, spouses still have the opportunity to pursue confidence and financial security – even after they have signed their marriage contracts. They can accomplish this goal by creating a postnuptial agreement. What exactly are the benefits of a postnuptial agreement, and is this really the right option for you?
The Definition of a Postnuptial Agreement
A postnuptial agreement is a contract signed between two spouses after the marriage. This agreement may lay out what will happen in the event of a divorce. Spouses can agree ahead of time on how certain property will be distributed, how much child support should be paid, and whether or not alimony is appropriate. There are many
other possibilities associated with postnuptials, and they are highly customizable. Now let's examine a few benefits of these agreements:
- Postnuptial Agreements Allow Both Spouses to Pursue Greater Understanding
Communication is a key foundation for any successful relationship – and a postnuptial agreement may help spouses pursue greater understanding. As they draft this agreement alongside an attorney, they can highlight their specific concerns about the future. These might include financial issues, post-divorce requirements, and even issues related to potential misconduct.
Simply having a conversation about these factors can be beneficial. Taking the next steps and writing down agreements based on these factors can be even more helpful. Spouses may find that with a postnuptial agreement in place, there is a greater sense of long-term stability and confidence in the overall relationship. Many spouses say that a postnuptial agreement leads to less worrying about the future.
- Postnuptial Agreements Can Lay Out Clear Penalties for Misconduct
Many spouses create postnuptials after misconduct occurs during the marriage. This misconduct may force spouses to re-examine their marriage and determine how best to proceed. A postnuptial can create clear penalties for any further misconduct – thereby acting as a deterrence. If one spouse commits the specific type of misconduct laid out by the postnuptial, they may need to pay financial penalties to the other spouse according to the postnup.
An obvious example is an incident involving cheating. One spouse may discover the existence of an affair, and they may create a postnuptial instead of immediately pursuing a divorce. This postnuptial may create certain penalties for any future instances of infidelity. If the guilty spouse cheats again, they may need to pay the other spouse a financial penalty due to the legally enforceable nature of the postnuptial. This has the potential to save marriages that are on thin ice.
- Postnuptial Agreements Can Simplify Debts
Debt represents an area of complexity for many spouses in Colorado. A postnuptial helps resolve any disputes over debts, as it can lay out exactly who is responsible for what. Perhaps the most obvious course of action is to make each spouse responsible for debts that they incur personally during the marriage. For example, a spouse might take a student loan during the marriage, and a postnuptial can help establish that they alone are responsible for this debt. However, many other arrangements are possible when it comes to using postnuptials to resolve debt issues.
- Postnuptial Agreements Can Serve as Estate Planning Tools
In addition to simplifying asset division in the event of a divorce, postnuptials can also streamline the estate planning process in a number of different ways. For example, if one spouse dies, the postnuptial can help control what happens next. A postnuptial can help spouses control the next steps if their marriage ends for any reason – whether the dissolution is due to the death of either spouse or a normal divorce. Many spouses create postnuptial agreements to provide financial security to children from previous relationships in the event of their passing.
- Postnuptial Agreements Allow Spouses to Evolve With Changing Times
Many things can change over the course of a marriage. For example, spouses may have a very low level of wealth before they marry. After a few years, however, these spouses may become more successful and wealthy. At this point, the spouses may realize that they need to create a postnuptial agreement that reflects this change in net worth.
Even if spouses are wealthy prior to marriage, they may not be mature enough to have serious conversations about money. This may change as they become more comfortable discussing these issues, and after a few years, they may return to the prospect of a postnuptial agreement. Both emotional and financial factors may change in such a way that makes a postnuptial necessary.
- Streamlining Divorce
Divorce can be a very time-consuming and stressful process for spouses in Colorado. A postnuptial agreement has the potential to streamline this process, as all the important decisions will have already been made ahead of time. In the event of a divorce, spouses simply need to present their postnuptial agreement to a family court. From there, they can follow the pre-determined guidelines set forth by the postnuptial – often saving serious legal fees in the process. Note that some aspects of divorce cannot necessarily be controlled by a postnuptial agreement. This generally applies to most issues related to children, such as child custody and child support.
Where Can I Find a Postnuptial Attorney in Colorado?
If you have been searching for a Colorado divorce lawyer who can help you with your postnuptial agreement, look no further than Casey James Alexander. Over the years, we have helped numerous spouses prepare for the future with confidence. Whether you believe that divorce might be a future possibility or you simply want peace of mind, a postnuptial agreement can be a solid option. During a consultation with a qualified divorce attorney in Loveland, you can discuss the benefits of this agreement in more detail. Book your consultation today.