Post-Nuptial Agreement as a Prenuptial Agreement Update
Sometimes, a postnuptial agreement functions essentially as an update to a couple’s prenuptial agreement. Over time, you and your spouse may encounter different circumstances or change your minds about your original “prenup.” In response, you could elect to establish a postnuptial agreement to make matters more equitable.
What Could a Postnuptial Agreement Address?
Additional issues often addressed in postnuptial agreements include:
- Differentiating between joint and individually held assets
- Spending of earnings
- College tuition payments
- Marital debts and their settlement in a divorce
- Business disposition after divorce
- Inherited assets
While inherited assets are the property of the beneficiary, a postnuptial agreement could identify joint usage of such assets during the marriage and address how that might affect future property distribution.
For example, say you and your spouse own your marital home jointly, but one of you inherited a substantial amount of money and paid for a complete renovation, significantly increasing the property’s value. In the event of a divorce, a postnuptial agreement could recognize that one spouse contributed far more than fifty percent to the value of the home. Accordingly, you and your spouse may ultimately split the proceeds of the home’s sale in an equitable way rather than a perfectly equal one.
What Postnuptial Agreements Cannot Do
Postnuptial agreements deal primarily with financial assets and their ownership and distribution. They are not vehicles for deciding child custody or support in the event of divorce, nor are they meant to change a spouse’s behavior. For instance, a postnuptial agreement does not determine who does the shopping or cleans the house.