Over the course of the years, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements have garnered a bad reputation. Some argued that both agreements question the love between two people pursuing marriage or who are already married.

In reality, though, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can be beneficial and reasonable to both parties for a variety of reasons. We should not view them as an obstacle to commitment. If you are engaged or are currently married, consider the following and learn why a marital agreement might be the right choice for you.

What are prenuptial and postnuptial agreements?

A prenuptial agreement, often referred to as a prenup, is a contract between two people who are planning to get married. While the conditions of a prenup can vary depending upon the preferences of the couple, most prenuptial agreements outline what will happen financially in the case of a divorce. Usually, these financial specifications deal with what will happen with property in the event of a separation or divorce, as well as what types of payment, such as alimony, either party will make.

Similar to a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement is also a contract between two people in a committed relationship. Unlike a prenup, though, a postnuptial agreementis made between two people who are already married or have entered into a civil union. The purpose of a postnuptial agreement is generally to provide financial protection to both parties in the case ofa divorce or separation.

What can prenuptials and postnuptial agreements protect?

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements might be beneficial for a number of reasons and can provide the following protections for those who enter into them:

  • Protection of property in the case that one person owns property that he or she does not wish to split or lose in the event of a divorce.
  • Financial separation, usually allowing a person to retain all of his or her financial possessions and assets in the case of a divorce.
  • Providing for childrenfrom previous marriages by ensuring that children inherit property or assets in the event of a parent’s death.
  • Avoiding debt by including a condition in the contract that states either party will not acquire the debt of a spouse.
  • Defining “who gets what” in the case a divorce occurs, including property, assets, money, vehicles, etc.

If you want to ensure financial protection for you and your spouse in the case of a divorce, consider a prenuptial agreement. If you are already married, you can pursue a postnuptial agreement.

How to Formulate a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement

If you want to pursue a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, there are a few terms and conditions to which you and your (future) spouse must adhere.

A prenuptial agreement may be invalid if signed under duress, coercion or without mental capacity. If one or both spouses did not disclose their assets or if the agreement contains unreasonable conditions, it might be invalid.

A family law attorney can help guide you and your spouse to create a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. At the Deno Millikan Law Firm, PLLC, we are happy to provide you with more information about the terms of pre- and postnuptial agreements, what you can protect and help you with any legal questions. Call us today at (425) 259-2222 or contact us online to get started today.