Today, everyone in Maryland has heard of a prenup. They probably even know someone who has one. But the postnuptial agreement is a newer phenomenon. This is an agreement signed following a marriage ceremony. Like a prenup, it outlines things like the division of assets and alimony payments. There are many reasons people will adopt a postnuptial agreement. For some couples, it can actually be an attempt at saving a marriage.
Why postnups can work
Like any contract, postnuptial agreements outline the rights and responsibilities of each partner. In this case, the agreement spells out what would happen in the event of a divorce. What postnups do is remove uncertainty. They can lessen the chance of arguments by showing how everyone will be provided for should the worst happen.
Drafting a postnuptial agreement forces couples to think about big issues. What will happen should one spouse stop working to focus on the kids? Who would get the family business in a divorce? In some cases, postnups are a way for couples to be protective of each other. For example, the spouses may agree that a large inheritance should only belong to the person named in the will. Signing a postnup makes that formal.
Not every postnuptial agreement will hold up in court. That can depend on how it was drafted and what the state law says. As with any contract, it’s a good idea to run a postnuptial agreement by an experienced lawyer before agreeing to sign it. An attorney may be able to help you understand what language and provisions will hold up in divorce court, should that time ever come.