Postnuptial agreements are not as widely known or used as prenuptial agreements, but they are just as important in terms of the protection they can offer.
What are postnuptial agreements?
A postnuptial agreement is a contract between two married people where they address what will happen to their property in the event of a divorce. Postnuptial agreements are very similar to prenuptial agreements with the major difference that they are entered into after the parties are married rather than before.
Some of the matters that may be addressed in postnuptial agreements are:
- The division of debts should the parties divorce
- How property, or assets, will be divided in case of divorce
- If/how monetary support will be provided in case of divorce
As long as the provisions are compliant with the laws of your state, most marital issues may be addressed.
Do Postnups Hold Up in Washington Court?
When contracts are entered into, it is typically because two parties are bargaining over something, such as a piece of land. If one party does not agree to the terms, they have the ability to walk away from the agreement. With postnuptial agreements, the parties are already married, so there really is no bargaining power. Because of this, courts tend to look down on postnuptial agreements. However, if the agreement is fair in its terms, abides by local laws, and both spouses entered into it voluntarily, the court will usually uphold a postnuptial agreement.
Who Needs a Postnuptial Agreement in Washington?
A postnuptial agreement is recommended for many situations, but it is especially important in the following scenarios.
Business Owners. If you own a business and want to protect its earnings, even those that have occurred during the time of the marriage, a postnuptial agreement can help.
Fear of Financial Talks. If you and your spouse were worried about discussing finances prior to your wedding day but now that you are married, you see how a mutual agreement could be beneficial, a postnuptial agreement may be the route for you.
Inheritance. If you or your spouse has received an inheritance that you don't want to be considered a joint asset, a postnuptial agreement can help keep it separate in case of divorce. Also, if you begin to see that there may be inheritance disputes between the children you each had in previous relationships, a postnuptial agreement can prevent that from happening.
Do You Need a Lawyer for a Postnup?
In short, yes, you should have an attorney to represent you in a postnuptial agreement for several reasons:
- To be sure you are treated fairly in the agreement
- To have the agreement upheld, as a court is much more likely to say it is a valid contract if both parties were represented by counsel when they entered into it
- To be sure the terms of the agreement are something the laws in your state allow
Remember, when you hire an attorney, their job is to look out for your best interests.
Contact a Postnuptial Agreement Attorney in Washington Today
Postnuptial agreements do not have to be something to fear but can be something to help you and your partner prepare for the future for whatever may come. Find out if a postnup is right for you and your unique situation and contact us today either online or at (509) 835-5377.