Prenuptial agreements are not uncommon in California and postnuptial agreements are even becoming more common. Postnuptial agreements are agreements between spouses that are entered into after they are already married in order to settle things like division of assets, debt allocation, and spousal support in the event that the couple decides to divorce. People often wonder why couples would enter into a postnuptial agreement after they are already married and do not have any immediate plans to divorce, but Westlake Village family law attorneys understand that entering into a postnuptial agreement is often a good step for people to protect themselves and their assets.
Common reasons for postnuptial agreements
See below for common reasons that couples enter into this type of agreement after they are already married.
Sometimes couples do not get all of their prenuptial matters and terms sorted through before the wedding date and they do not want to delay their wedding, so they agree to finalize the terms after the wedding in a postnuptial agreement.
Before people enter into a marriage they have a vision of what their marriage will be like and then after their marriage, circumstances may unexpectedly change making a postnuptial agreement necessary. For example, prior to marriage a couple may have agreed to no spousal support should they divorce, but then after marriage if the couple decides that one spouse should quit his or her career to stay home to raise their children, they may want a postnuptial agreement to include spousal support terms. This applies to other types of changes in financial circumstances as well such as one spouse loses his or her job, becomes disabled, or receives a financial windfall like an unexpected salary increase or business success.
These agreements are often made in order to allocate debt in the event of divorce. This frequently happens when one spouse decides to take on a risky investment and the other spouse does not want to be liable for it or when one spouse has behaved irresponsibly with finances such as accruing gambling debt.
Couples may purchase property or a business and then want to enter an agreement for how it should be allocated in the event of divorce. For example, if the couple purchases Spouse A’s family farm or business, Spouse A may want to make sure that it is clear in an agreement that should they divorce, Spouse B has no rights to the family farm or business.
More and more often postnuptial agreements are entered into when one spouse has engaged in marital misconduct (usually an extramarital affair) and the other spouse decides not to leave the marriage in exchange for an agreement providing that if the cheating happens again, he or she will be entitled to specific assets.
If you are considering entering into a postnuptial agreement or need representation for any other type of family law matter, protect yourself and contact a Westlake Village family law attorney at the Law Offices of Stephanie L. Mahdavi for a free consultation.