When money comes into your marriage after the top of the wedding cake is long gone or collapsed in the bottom of the freezer, even a happily married couple may experience new uncertainties about how to make sure these new assets remain with their rightful owner should the marriage break up. As this recent article in (I)Investopedia, points out, the postnuptial agreement (postnup) is the legal tool made specifically to handle changing financial conditions in a marriage. Why is the postnup needed? Because… things change.
In the article “5 Signs You Need a Postnup,” Amy Bell reminds us that financial circumstances change during the life of any marriage, even a long successful one. Regardless of where the money comes from, say from the profits of a successful business or from a massive inheritance, new money flowing into a marriage might call for an agreement about how money will be divided if the marriage breaks up.
Without a written agreement spelling out your wishes, assets brought into the marriage after the wedding day would generally become joint assets and be divided equally or according to the rules imposed by the state you live in. The postnup agreement is a way to preserve assets for your own use or to ensure that inherited family money is passed down to your children from a previous marriage.
So, if talk of contracts and love made you change the subject before the wedding day, and you never signed a prenup, remember that the postnup is an agreement. While you are married, hopefully you can agree on what is fair if things should go badly later. And, despite the old saying that everything changes, the statistics on marriage longevity in America have remained not good.