Should We Get a Postnup?

Should We Get a Postnup?

How postnuptial agreements can protect your future

Thanks to celebrity gossip news, prenup is a commonplace term these days. But postnup, formally known as a postnuptial agreement, is something you don’t hear nearly as much about. That being said, these legal tools are becoming more commonplace as couples desire added security and clarity around their futures.

Prenups and postnups are essentially the same—written agreements meant to aid the settlement of a couple’s affairs and assets in the case of divorce. However, as you might have guessed, postnups are created after a couple marries or enters into a civil union, instead of before. Both documents usually cover the division of assets such as money, real estate, vehicles, and other valuable items. They also detail how debts will be handled in the case of a divorce, including loans, mortgages, and other unpaid balances.

Most married couples want to assume the best, hoping for a long, happy future together. But life can be unpredictable, and things don’t always turn out like we’ve planned. That’s where a postnup can be a valuable tool for protecting your future legacy. And spending some time and money drafting one now can be far less pricey and stressful than trying to sort things out fairly if and when a divorce happens.

So when does a postnup make sense? Here are a few reasons why a couple might consider one:

  1. After a breach of trust
    Sometimes couples put postnups in place after trust gets shattered, like in the case of infidelity. Discussing finances and the future might actually be a cathartic way to start rebuilding trust and reconcile. Putting each party’s wishes in writing allows couples to get their desires down on paper, put the past behind them, and move forward.
  2. Preparing for the unexpected
    Some people just want to be prepared for whatever life might throw their way (any Enneagram 6s out there?). Postnups build protections in should a split happen down the road, and they allow you to have your say. Without a prenup or postnup in place, the court could end up calling all the shots about who gets what and how things go.
  3. Significant marital assets have been acquired
    Without a prenup in place, many assets that a couple buy or receive during marriage become dubbed “marital assets.” This could include things like retirement funds, stock options, real estate, inheritance, and more. Unless a prenup or postnup states otherwise, Indiana courts usually divide marital assets 50-50, which may or may not be fair.
  4. If trouble might be on the horizon
    Sadly, addiction and mental health issues are on the rise in our country. It can be heartbreaking to watch your spouse go down these roads. Sometimes the healthier spouse will want to put a postnuptial agreement in place if they see their spouse potentially going down a dangerous path, such as alcoholism or gambling, or struggling with a mental health issue that could impact the marriage.
  5. Simply didn’t get it done beforehand
    Other times, couples truly intended to have a prenuptial agreement drawn up prior to the wedding, but just didn’t get it done in time. Wedding plans and excitement can derail even the best of intentions. But the good news is that it’s not too late. A postnup can take care of the same important details and protections after a couple is wed.

Postnups are a wise way to put protections in place. Also, it’s usually far easier to discuss complicated issues like finances and custody before you’re in the heat of battle. Let us help you take care of this important to-do. Reach out to Cecelia Neihouser Harper at 765-637-9175 to learn more.

Disclaimer:
The content of this blog is intended to be general and informational in nature. It is advertising material and is not intended to be, nor is it, legal advice to or for any particular person, case, or circumstance. Each situation is different, and you should consult an attorney if you have any questions about your situation.

Protecting Your Assets: Pre-Divorce Estate Planning

Part one of three in our estate planning and divorce series

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