A postnuptial agreement can be a valuable asset for many married couples – and a survey of American divorce lawyers suggests that requests for postnups are becoming more common.
More than half of the attorneys recently polled by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported a rise in the number of postnuptial agreements over the past three years, according to the organization’s press release.
Respondents also noted a growing trend based on gender. Although husbands traditionally have initiated postnup requests, attorneys reported a 36% increase in the number of wives seeking postnups, the survey said.
What is a Postnuptual Agreement?
As the name suggests, postnuptial agreements are contracts established between couples after they are married. Many matters can be addressed in a postnup, such as finances, property, assets, child custody and spousal support. The goal is to hash out some of the biggest sources of conflict in marriage so that couples can know what to expect if a divorce becomes necessary.
Even seemingly simple things, such as a household budget, can be addressed in a postnup. You may think that’s unnecessary because you and your spouse can “work things out” when it comes to everyday expenses. Countless numbers of divorce attorneys, however, may beg to differ. It’s those little details that often mount into big, marriage-ending problems.
“People are kidding themselves if they think love is enough to carry a marriage for fifty years,” Paula Szuchman, co-author of It’s Not You, It’s the Dishes, wrote in an e-mail to the Daily Beast. Her research found that people often have trouble divvying up chores, and that even the smallest things—right down to who washes the dishes—can ultimately wear a couple down.
When should I consider a Postnuptual Agreement?
Revising a Prenup: Significant changes in your finances, like an inheritance or great promotion, would be a good time to compose a postnup. In this new scenario you may want to change or alter the terms of earlier prenuptial agreement.
Protecting your assets: Through a postnup agreement you can enter into a written agreement after marriage overriding North Carolina property law which employs the “equitable distribution” method for dividing the assets.
Securing Business Interests: A postnuptial agreement can protect a business that might be affected by divorce. In some instances divorce may affect the assets of the company or badly affect business associates and financiers
Financial Strains: Postnuptual agreements can relieve the stress some couples experience in matters of finance and money relations.
Infidelity: Disloyalty can be managed through a postnup. Spouses may financially secure themselves by signing a postnup so the philanderer will be required to pay their partner for infidelity.
Is a Postnuptual Agreement for Me?
How do you know if a postnup is right for you? It’s probably a good idea to check with a divorce attorney to learn how a postnuptial agreement is enforced in North Carolina. You may also find that working with a lawyer can help you and your spouse evaluate matters in more detail so that the terms are spelled out precisely the way you want them to be.
To some, it may seem like spouses with postnuptial agreements simply don’t trust each other – and isn’t trust the foundation of a relationship? It is certainly an element of a happy marriage. But so is honesty. A postnup can alleviate some of the stress caused by worrying over the “what-ifs.” For some people, especially older couples in second or third marriages or with a large number of assets and financial responsibilities to others, a postnuptial agreement can set their minds to rest so they can relax and enjoy their new relationship.
To learn whether a North Carolina postnup is right for you, consider talking with an attorney at the Raleigh law firm of Charles Ullman & Associates. Call toll-free or contact us through our online form.