Many couples in California get married without creating a prenuptial agreement. Even if a couple has no prenup in place, a postnuptial agreement can be created during a marriage. A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenup in that it’s an agreement about who owns what and what will happen to property in the event of a divorce.
A postnuptial agreement might be set up for a number of different reasons. One spouse might be bad at handling money, for example, and a postnuptial agreement could be used to establish new financial boundaries. If a couple started a new business during their marriage, a postnuptial agreement might be written to protect the business in the event of divorce. Another trigger for a postnuptial agreement could be an inheritance or sudden windfall that one spouse is expecting to receive.
Because a couple’s finances are already intertwined, there will be a lot of things to consider when writing a postnuptial agreement. The couple may have accumulated debt over the course of the marriage, and the postnuptial agreement should address how this debt will be paid off. If the couple has children, a postnuptial agreement should also consider their interests.
When a person is going through a divorce, any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements that were created will need to be looked at. In some cases, these agreements can help one spouse to assert their rights to certain property that they owned independently from their spouse. Sometimes, however, a divorcing spouse may want to contest an agreement because they believe it is no longer valid. An attorney may be able to help a divorcing spouse to sort through any issues that they are having with a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.