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Philadelphia Family Lawyer > Blog > Family Law > What is a Postnuptial Agreement?

What is a Postnuptial Agreement?


You’ve heard of prenuptial agreements. Well now, get ready for postnuptial agreements. While prenuptial agreements are signed before the marriage has commenced, postnuptial agreements are signed during the actual marriage. Once the marriage occurs, you can no longer draft a prenuptial agreement. However, if both parties decide to, they can arrange an equitable method of divesting the marital estate without actually divesting the estate.

This may be beneficial to both parties when there has been a major change to their income or estate.

What can go in a postnuptial agreement? 

Postnuptial agreements are just like prenuptial agreements with the exception of the time at which they were signed. In point of fact, most concerns related to nuptial agreements are handled prior to the marriage and not after. However, there may be several situations in which an individual would want to protect an asset via a postnuptial agreement.

Consider, for instance, a spouse who has started a new business. Their spouse has a day job but if they divorce, half of the business will belong to their spouse. They’d rather keep their business, so they get a lawyer to draft a postnuptial agreement that ensures that 100% of the business will pass to the spouse after the marital estate is divested.

What would happen if they did not have a postnuptial agreement? Well, all property that was acquired during the marriage is considered part of the marital estate. That includes property that has a single owner like a business operated by one spouse. The law would say that the value of the business is divided 50/50 and that the spouse who owns the business would have to “buy out” the other spouse to keep it. In other words, that means that they would have to send some assets the other spouse’s way to compensate for the 50% value of the business that belongs to the marital estate. A postnuptial agreement can avoid this scenario.

What can’t go in a postnuptial agreement? 

The agreement must be signed with the consent and knowledge of both parties, obviously, and must not leave one party in a destitute or unfair position without recourse to income. Further, no provision related to the children is allowed in either a pre- or postnuptial agreement. The courts will always review the matter with a guardian ad litem to ensure that the best interests of the children are considered. The court will not consider a custody arrangement that was reached by contract. The matter will require the court’s review.

Talk to a Philadelphia Divorce Lawyer Today 

The Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane represent the interests of Philadelphia residents who are interested in making modifications to divorce agreements or initiating a divorce. Call our Philadelphia family lawyers today to schedule an appointment and we can begin discussing your options immediately.

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