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Are postnuptial agreements enforceable?

Over the last several decades, courts have begun to expand support for postnuptial agreements, strengthening the legal protections a couple may enjoy if their circumstances change significantly after they are already married. Prenuptial agreements still offer several more protections that postnuptial agreements, but these contracts do offer significantly more protection than they used to, and are often an excellent way to create structure within a marriage or streamline a divorce.

Postnuptial agreements are generally much smaller in the scope of what they can protect, especially when it comes to protecting one spouse from another's debt. In a prenuptial agreement, it is often useful to separate out specific property to keep it safe from the other spouse's creditors, and postnuptial agreements do not generally offer this protection, because the property is already designated as marital property.

However, postnuptial agreements are often quite useful in protecting an asset that one or both spouses acquire during the marriage. If, for instance, one spouse starts a business during the marriage, he or she may want to protect it from a future divorce, especially if the business involves employees. A well-crafted postnuptial agreement is an excellent tool to keep such property safe as long as it is carefully constructed.

In general, postnuptial agreements receive even greater scrutiny than prenuptial agreements, and must be immaculately constructed to provide sufficient protection. Before you create a postnuptial agreement for any reason, be sure that you fully understand both the strengths and the limitations of these contracts, and be sure to use all your resources to protect your rights and priorities with the strength of the law.

Source: FindLaw, "5 Potential Pitfalls of an Uncontested Divorce," accessed March 23, 2018

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