5 Times When A Post-Nuptial Agreement Makes Sense

Law Blog

If you're married and don't have a pre-nuptial agreement, you may want to consider getting a post-nuptial agreement. A post-nuptial is much like a prenup. It clearly defines how a couple will split assets, income, debt, and even child custody in the event of a divorce. The main difference is that a post-nuptial is signed after a couple is married, while a pre-nuptial is signed before a couple gets married. A post-nuptial agreement isn't for everyone. However, there are some situations in which it can be very helpful. Here are five such situations:

When a spouse enters a business partnership. If one spouse enters into a business partnership, a post-nuptial may be a mandatory condition of the partnership. The reason is simple. The other partners want to be sure that a spouse won't try to gain control of the business in a divorce. Instead, the agreement would lay out other ways in which the spouse could be compensated for the value of the company, such as with other assets or increased spousal support.

When one spouse gives up a career. Once children enter the picture, it's common for one spouse to give up his or her career to stay home with the kids. While that decision may make sense for the family, it can leave the at-home spouse vulnerable in a divorce. That spouse will have to re-enter the workforce at likely a lower position and income level than he or she would have had if their career had not been interrupted. A post-nuptial agreement can ensure that both spouses are financially secure.

If both spouses are high-earners. Most income and assets acquired during marriage are considered the property of both spouses. However, if each spouse  has a sizable income and invests and saves on his or her own, a post-nuptial could help segregate the assets. Each spouse could clearly define which property belongs to whom. That would help avoid a costly and messy divorce.

If one spouse inherits money. Generally, inheritances are considered the property of the spouse to whom the money was left. However, if that money is invested and grows to a larger amount, the investment gains could be considered marital property, since the gains occurred during the marriage. A spouse could protect the inheritance and any subsequent gains by establishing a post-nuptial agreement.

If one spouse has trouble managing money. Money is a common cause of divorce, especially when one spouse has trouble managing money and debt. If this is the case, the other spouse may want to protect himself or herself by establishing a post-nuptial. The agreement could ensure that all debt is split accordingly to the spouse who acquired it.

A family lawyer (such as Catherine A. Haber) could help you determine whether a post-nuptial is right for you. Contact one in your area to review your goals and needs.


5 February 2015

How to Gain Guardianship Over a Child

The laws governing child custody and guardianship can be confusing. As a family attorney, I have helped many clients gain legal guardianship over a foster child or a relative's child. Getting legal guardianship of a child you are caring for is important because you need to be able to make decisions about that child's education, health care and other matters. This blog will help you navigate the world of legal guardianship and show you how to take steps to get guardianship over a child whether the child's parents are cooperative or not. Legal guardianship does matter even if a child is not going to be adopted. I hope to help people find the way to get this done.