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What are postnuptial agreements?

Many couples experience trouble during the course of their marriages. When this occurs, a postnuptial agreement can be a means of rectifying ongoing issues and spelling out just what would happen should a divorce occur. The Spruce explains postnuptial agreements so you can make the best decision for your marriage. 

Postnuptial agreements can contain numerous elements. They're often used to resolve financial issues, such as disagreements about spending and saving. They can also contain language regarding child-rearing or household chores. They're also used to address changes that have taken place within a marriage, which may affect a couple's financial standing or caused conflict in some way. While they can be beneficial from this respect, there are some questions regarding the overall validity of these agreements. 

Historically, a husband and wife were not permitted to have a contract between themselves. That means that a postnuptial agreement would not be considered valid in court since it is a contract between two married people. However, these laws have evolved over time, with many courts honoring such agreements provided they are deemed legally valid. An attorney's assistance is highly recommended in this case, as it will ensure that your postnup contains all the essential elements. 

For an agreement to be considered valid, it must be considered fair to both parties. It must also contain full disclosure of all assets, both marital and separate. When one spouse hides assets or fails to disclose them, they could become fair game in the event of a divorce. Lastly, the agreement must have been willingly signed by both parties. This aspect can be a bit tricky, especially when one spouse is reluctant about entering into such an agreement. Accordingly, many view postnups as the last step before a divorce proceeding will take place. 

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