Getting married is a happy time for most people as the new couple looks forward to embarking on many adventures together. While working with a San Diego divorce lawyer is not anticipated, many might take a look at the divorce statistics and find that it is practical for them to enter into a prenuptial agreement before they are married. Some come to this realization after the wedding day and work out a post nuptial agreement instead.
Differences Between Prenup and Postnup
The biggest difference between a prenup and a postnup is that one happens before a couple is married and the other happens after the marriage ceremony. In general, prenups carry more legal weight since they are worked out with a family law attorney while the marriage slate is financially clean, and there is little question regarding who owns what. One of the most common functions of a prenup is to help insure that the individuals will be able to protect their financial standing as it was before the start of the marriage. It may make sure children from previous relationships are able to claim their inheritance instead of the spouse, or just to make sure that if a divorce does occur they will be able to return to their previous financial state.
Lifestyle clauses are popular additions to these types of agreements. Some promise a certain amount of money in a divorce, but may withdraw the agreement if their spouse is unfaithful. Other things can be included as well, such as agreements about household chores and everyday finances.
Sometimes when a marriage begins, each person has limited assets and they don’t feel that they have enough to warrant creating a prenup. After they are married, however, that may change. One spouse may learn they are a beneficiary for a wealthy relative or may achieve success in their own business and want to assure that their spouse won’t try to claim part of the business in a divorce settlement.
Reassurance at a Difficult Time
Post nuptial agreements have been used as a tool to help preserve and repair a rocky marriage. In one case, a husband and wife were in trouble because the husband was accruing a lot of business debt. The wife worried that the debt would look bad for both of them and they might lose their house. The husband felt that his wife did not support his business, The two worked out a post nup that put the house in the wife’s name and she was able to relax enough to be able to provide her husband with the moral support he needed.
A post-nup can spell out how a couple’s finances will work, and define priorities. Some spouses may ask for a post nup if they leave the workforce to care for the family. They want to be sure that they have the freedom to stay because they want to, not because they don’t have a choice financially. If they do find they need the services of a divorce lawyer in San Diego, they may feel more secure in their ability to move forward
Enforcing Prenups and Postnups
Just as each person getting a divorce should hire their own divorce attorney in order to make sure their lawyer is acting with their best interest in mind, they should also have separate lawyers when they are negotiating terms of a prenup or postnup. If the marriage ends in death, these agreements can be considered in addition to any will the deceased left behind. If the marriage ends in divorce, the divorce lawyers have a head start as they help their client work out terms for divorce. It is often easier for the couple to work through these issues when the marriage is strong rather than forcing interactions when tensions are high.
Just because a prenup or postnup exists it doesn’t mean that a judge will abide by every detail that is in the agreement. For example, one spouse cannot relieve the other from their responsibility to pay child support. Spousal support may be waived, in theory, however if there is a true financial need the judge may overlook this as well.
If you’re considering marriage, or the dynamic of your marriage has changed, or you are thinking of divorce, contact the Law Office of Renkin and Associates to discuss your options for a prenup, postnup, or representation in a divorce.