Marriage is usually meant to be a lifetime commitment, but people ultimately accept some degree of risk when starting a marital relationship. The act of combining households and finances can make it a real challenge to separate a couple’s lives again if their relationship later sours unexpectedly.
The more that couples disagree about if they file for divorce, the longer the proceedings will take and the more they will likely pay for the process. A postnuptial agreement is one of the tools that can help couples navigate divorce proceedings more smoothly. This legal contract between spouses can also help people who choose to remain married.
What exactly is a postnuptial agreement, and how can this resource benefit married couples in Louisiana?
A postnuptial agreement is much like a prenup
The Louisiana family courts will recognize a properly drafted postnuptial agreement just like they will acknowledge a prenuptial agreement. The primary difference between these two types of marital contracts is when the couple decides to sign the agreement.
A postnuptial agreement is a contract signed after two people have already gotten married. Like a prenuptial agreement, its primary function is to clarify the economic terms that would apply in the event of a divorce. Spouses may agree that some assets are separate property or put their own rules in place for the division of major assets, such as their real property and retirement accounts.
Like prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements need to include provisions that benefit both spouses and are not enforceable if either party signs while under duress. Generally, both spouses will need to have their own lawyer review the documents so that they have someone representing their best interests.
Provided that they reach an agreement and follow best practices while putting together a postnuptial agreement, spouses can rely on that document to minimize the conflict and therefore the expense involved if they file for divorce. Postnuptial agreements can also help stabilize a relationship, as people can address bad behavior on the part of either spouse and clarify what the household can expect in the event of marital dissolution.
Learning more about the tools that can help spouses overcome marital challenges and/or facilitate an easier divorce can help those going through a difficult time in their marriages. Seeking legal guidance is a good place to start.