Pre/Post Nuptial Agreements
As the name suggests, a prenuptial agreement is made before the marriage. In this type of agreement, the couple determines how they will divide their assets should the marriage ever come to an end.
Many critics argue that negotiating a prenuptial agreement before your wedding is wildly unromantic, and the uncomfortable process can doom a marriage before it begins. However, proponents of prenups point out these agreements can save a lot of heartache, not to mention money, in the event of divorce. When a couple decides to split, prenups can prevent nasty, drawn-out, excessively expensive court battles. Because everything is already spelled out in the agreement, everyone knows exactly who gets what, and there’s no room for argument.
Yet prenups aren’t just meant to determine how a couple’s assets will be divided after divorce. These agreements also spell out financial distributions in case of a spouse’s death, which is particularly important for couples with children from previous marriages.
A postnuptial agreement, which is sometimes also referred to as a postmarital agreement, is a legal document designed for couples who are already married or in a civil union.
Similar to a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement establishes how the couple’s assets will be divided in the event of a divorce or legal separation and the amount (if any) of spousal support that one spouse will pay to the other if the marriage ends.