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What can spouses do to protect their personal interests?

When couples are approaching their wedding day, they may not be thinking about the long-term implications of the step they are about to take. After all, a wedding is the romantic culmination of a happy courtship, while marriage is a legally binding contract.

Couples may simply not be prepared to discuss some of the important realities of marriage prior to tying the knot. However, once a couple has spent some time together legally wed, they may realize that they have interests that they want protected.

It is for this reason that postnuptial agreements exist. By sitting down with an attorney, you can go over your collective and individual assets, debts and expectations and put down in writing a set of guidelines that clarify each party's responsibilities and benefits moving forward.

One of the primary items you may want to cover in a postnuptial agreement is how you want assets and property divided in the event of a divorce. In addition, the agreement could detail how debts should be handled after the split. Moreover, if you have bowed out of the work-a-day world to raise your children, contingencies can be put in place that ensure that a divorce will not leave you in a financially challenged condition.

The important thing to remember is that there is no one-size-fits-all postnuptial agreement. Your agreement should specifically address your needs. And an effective way of getting a thorough and effective postnuptial agreement drawn up is to meet with an experienced family law attorney.

An attorney can go over your situation, point for point, and help make sure that your agreement is clear, concise and as all-encompassing as necessary. Hopefully, your marriage will remain strong for the duration. But if not, you will likely save time and money should issues arise that are covered in the agreement.

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