Almost everyone has heard of a prenup (also called a prenuptial agreement or premarital agreement). These are agreements soon-to-be-wed couples enter into that establish each person’s rights to property, assets, debts, and support in the event of a potential future divorce. Prenups can be effective tools for protecting assets, estate planning, or to satisfy wealthy family members looking at their future beneficiaries, but they are only used before the wedding.
If you are already married, but want similar protection that a prenup can provide, you may want to consider entering into a postnup. A postnup (also called a postnuptial agreement), is an agreement entered into by spouses after the marriage, but still establishes a person’s right to property, assets, debts and support. Postnups are not all that common in Arizona, but they are becoming more popular in recent years.
Here are a few reasons why couples consider postnups:
- There has been an infidelity issue or there are marital problems and the parties alter their community property rights in an attempt to convince a spouse of their commitment and stay married.
- There are excessive and abnormal spending issues and debts and the other spouse wants to protect their assets.
- A spouse is involved in business planning, either starting, growing, merging, or acquiring business assets and/or debts.
- Family members of one spouse require it before gifting property or listing a spouse as a beneficiary on an estate.
- Parties who previously entered into a prenup wish to modify the terms.
Entering into a postnup is a serious contractual undertaking. Because the parties are married at the time of negotiations, they each owe a higher duty of fair dealing to one another than prior to being lawfully wed. For any postnup negotiations, it is highly advisable to involve legal counsel to improve the likelihood that the agreement is enforceable.