Questions to ask when creating a postnuptial agreement

Couples trying to create a postnuptial agreement need to understand why it is necessary, how it affects the kids and how it can help with finances.

Missouri has an annual divorce rate of 3.3 per every 1,000 residents according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some couples going through this legal separation process have set up either a prenup or postnuptial agreement. The major difference between these two documents is when they are created, for example, a postnuptial contract is made after a marriage has already been finalized. Some couples create this agreement shortly after saying 'I do,' while others wait years before building this legal document.

Why is this document necessary?

Agreements made after a marriage are popular for a variety of reasons. If it is not done at the start of a marriage, it is usually created when something changes in a partnership. For example, if one of the spouses becomes a stay-at-home parent, a postnuptial contract may be created to ensure the out-of-the-workforce partner is financially secure even if there is a separation.

Some couples choose to create this type of document after some type of infidelity. It can prepare both sides to work on the marriage, and highlight what will happen in a divorce. Others choose to create a financial agreement after starting a business or getting a large inheritance.

How does it affect the kids?

Married people with children, especially those who have children from previous relationships, need to address the kids in a postnuptial contract. This legal agreement can spell out how much inheritance each child will get. It is a great way for the parent to make sure his or her kids from outside of the marriage are financially taken care of even in the event of a divorce. Parents can outline trusts and child support agreements in this document.

What is the financial situation?

Whether a couple is flush with cash or near bankruptcy, finances should be a major part of the discussion. Spouses should be forthcoming about debt, investments, inheritances and other properties. The agreement that follows a wedding ceremony gives the married partners a perfect time to discuss the following:

  • How current and future debt will be handled throughout the marriage and in the case of a divorce.
  • What type of investments should be made in the future.
  • How investments will be split up if a divorce is pursued.
  • Who will get the house in a separation.

Some husbands and wives may find that creating a postnuptial agreement and a will at the same time is beneficial because a lot of the conversations are similar.

Many married couples in Missouri create a postnuptial agreement as a tool to keep their marriage strong rather than a as a way to prepare for a divorce. A lawyer familiar with family law may be able to help couples create this legal document.