In a perfect world, spouses would never divorce and assets wouldn’t ever have to be divided. In the real world, however, things are different, and people often find themselves needing to protect their property rights by getting a postnuptial agreement.
We understand that the idea of attempting to reach an agreement after a divorce is already underway can be irritating. That is why we approach each of our engagements with a unique focus on providing you with the results you want, along with the personal attention and individualized support you deserve.
If your marriage is about to break up and you need an attorney who will work as hard for you as we would for ourselves, please call us today at +1 (714) 491-2556 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation.
We’re here to help you through this challenging time, and we look forward to speaking with you soon.
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Types of Postnuptial Agreements
Here are some of the more common postnuptial agreement provisions:
Alimony (Spousal Support)
Some spouses may be receiving alimony or spousal support at the time of the divorce. This type of provision is helpful for both parties, as it can help make sure that neither party falls below a certain standard of living after the marriage ends.
It is helpful for the party receiving the money to have it protected in case their spouse leaves them high and dry. It is also beneficial for the other spouse, who may find themselves paying alimony or spousal support for a very long time.
The spouses can clearly state that neither will be responsible for ongoing alimony or spousal support payments after the divorce. Specific dollar amounts can also be included due to inflation.
Child custody is a very complex issue. It requires that the children’s best interests take priority over any other factor.
Often, both parents want primary physical custody of their children after a divorce. It may be necessary to have a postnuptial agreement that spells out child custody rights and responsibilities in these situations.
It can also state that neither party will seek sole custody without a good reason, such as the other parent’s absence from the child’s life or abuse of any kind.
In most states, both parents are responsible for providing financial support for their children until they turn 18 or graduate from high school, whichever comes later. If the parents are not living together, the father usually pays child support to the mother.
Child support payments can be included as a provision in a postnuptial agreement. Similar to alimony and spousal support provisions, this is beneficial for both parties because it can keep them from a drastic fall in their standard of living.
It can also help ensure that the children’s needs are met, including medical insurance and other benefits.
The most important reason for a postnuptial agreement is asset protection. A large number of marriages end in divorce, and many property owners find themselves facing lawsuits from former spouses. Even if the owner is not at fault for the divorce, their standard of living can decrease drastically. They may even have to file for bankruptcy protection.
A postnuptial agreement helps prevent this from happening. It makes clear which assets are separate property and which are jointly owned. Separate property includes anything obtained before the marriage, during the marriage but outside of a joint bank account, and anything received as inheritance or gift during the marriage. Jointly owned assets will be divided according to what is stated in the agreement at the time of divorce.
This can be advantageous for the property owner because they will not lose anything they did not expressly agree to give up.
Do You Need a Lawyer to Make a Postnuptial Agreement?
Although a lawyer is not required to have a postnuptial agreement drawn up, it can be helpful if both parties have representation. The attorney will know the laws in your state and which issues are important to include. A good attorney can also advise you on various other issues that should be included in a postnuptial agreement, such as:
- The right to seek a modification if either party’s financial circumstances change significantly after the agreement is signed.
- A clause that can be added at a later date, such as infidelity or abuse. This allows you to state that those issues will nullify any current or future postnuptial agreements.
Without proper legal representation, you are more likely to make costly legal mistakes, get into a poor agreement or no agreement at all.
We Can Help With Your Postnuptial Agreement
Postnuptial agreements are not just for the wealthy; they can help anyone looking out for their future. In order to create a postnuptial agreement that is valid in your state, it is important to speak with an experienced family law attorney.
We can help you understand your options and what a postnuptial agreement might mean for you and your spouse. Call us today at +1 (714) 491-2556 or fill out our online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team to get started with our free, no-obligation initial consultation.
We have law offices in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties.