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Can a Postnuptial Agreement Save Your Marriage?

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How many days have you spent talking to family members and friends concerning their problematic marriages? “I can’t talk to my spouse at all,” is the typical lament. It appears married people can talk to anyone but their spouse when their marriage is in trouble. When they do manage to communicate with each other, it usually results in a yelling match. Couples can try to discuss issues through a marriage counselor, but it’s not always an effective way to resolve deep-rooted issues, like fears concerning financial security, or a spouse’s spendthrift ways.

One way to recognize and resolve these issues is to create up a postnuptial agreement. These agreements, sometimes referred to as “postnups”, are devised and carried out after you are married. They codify the responsibilities and duties of each spouse. Actually, marriages are an financial partnership in which both parties are able to benefit from a written agreement.

Creating a postnup may be a surprisingly psychotherapeutic experience for couples. It is an opportunity to examine their assets, liabilities, and spending habits, and to look at the effect of financial strain on their emotional lives. Complaints can be aired, and self-doubt expressed. Couples can discuss matters like how much spending money needs to be given to children from a previous marriage, or how many girls’ or boys’ night outs are reasonable. More importantly, the couple can set conditions reasonable to each party.

Example of a Saved Marriage

Here’s a good instance of how a postnup saved a marriage. It’s a story about spouses, constantly fighting over money, that saved their marriage by getting into a postnup. The husband’s business liabilities had squandered through inheritance money, and the couple had 2 mortgages on their home. The wife was concerned she might be evicted out of her home, whereas the husband believed his wife didn’t have belief in his business. Even though the couple had discussed these matters with a marriage counselor, they could not put their issues to rest. Lawyers were able to suggest positive solutions to their situation. They devised a postnuptial agreement in which the house was transferred into the wife’s name, and the spouses agreed to divide the mortgage and other household costs. The wife no longer was concerned of losing her home, and the husband no longer believed his wife was curtailing his business.

More and more married couples are devising postnups. When you’ve remarried and have children from a prior marriage, and did not sign a prenup, then you should seriously think about entering into a postnup.

Prenup FAQ Checklist

Postnup Checklist: Addressing Financial and Legal Matters

  1. Property Ownership:

    • Determine jointly held and individual properties.
    • Assess legal, sentimental, or other reasons for modifications.
  2. Liabilities:

    • Identify responsible partner for liabilities.
    • Examine joint liabilities and discuss repayment methods and importance.
  3. Income Distribution:

    • Define how earnings are distributed.
    • Address disparities in spending or saving habits.
    • Set approved portions for spending/saving.
  4. Business Involvement:

    • Clarify each spouse’s role in any present or future business.
    • Plan for business termination in cases of divorce, disability, or death.
  5. Marital Goals:

    • Establish future goals, such as education, purchases, or retirement.
    • Develop strategies to achieve these goals.
  6. Blended Family Finances:

    • Discuss fund allocation in blended families.
    • Determine financial support for children from prior marriages, considering age and needs.
  7. Health and Disability:

    • Plan for illness or disability.
    • Consider long-term health care, disability insurance, and create healthcare proxies or Power of Attorney.
  8. Safeguards for Passing Away:

    • Address measures for each other’s passing.
    • Review life insurance, update wills, and consider estate planning.

Trust in Postnups: Despite addressing financial and legal matters, trust is crucial. Avoid creating an adversarial environment and focus on collaboration.

Necessities of a Prenup

At this phase, what is necessary is that the postnup involves a common comprehension of how to manage disputable financial issues. When a postnup is finished, the couple has a chance to go beyond their disputes and to make their marriage workable. If their marriage does break up, the postnup agreement turns into the steppingstones for a separation agreement. This saves the spouses from the emotional strain of negotiating with their partner when things have turned for the worse, and also saves legal fees.

It is better for married couples to talk about tough matters while they are still devoted to the marriage—prior to any battle lines being drawn. Sometimes it’s better to hold those talks in the office of your attorneys, instead of with a marriage counselor.

Source:

  1. Lynn J. Maier, E. (2011, December 7). How a Postnup could save your marriage. HuffPost. Retrieved August 25, 2022, from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/why-a-postnuptial-agreeme_b_997219

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