Preparing a Postnuptial Agreement in Maryland
A postnuptial agreement serves the same purpose as a prenuptial agreement. The main difference between the two is the time at which they are created and enacted, either before or after the marriage.
If you are married and feel you may want to create a postnuptial agreement with your partner, then you should contact the experienced family law lawyers at Houlon Berman. Their in-depth knowledge of family law and compassionate approach will help you create a postnuptial agreement that will satisfy all your needs.
The Purpose of a Postnuptial Agreement
The reasons people decide to enter into a postnuptial agreement with their spouse vary. Common reasons include:
- To protect a future inheritance
- To secure the disposition of personal wealth or assets
- Protection from a spouse’s personal debts
- To make allowance for finances intended for children from prior relationships
It is important to note that the purpose of any nuptial agreement, either pre or post, is NOT to dictate behavior during the relationship. In popular media these agreements are often satirized to highlight and make fun of certain demands one spouse would like to make on another.
A postnuptial agreement should first and foremost be understood as a financial planning tool.
Prenuptial Do’s and Don’ts
There are specific things that legally are not allowed in a prenuptial agreement, as well as items that should be considered “don’ts” due to common courtesy and respect.
State laws regarding postnuptial agreements vary but they do have several general rules in common.
- Thankfully, one of the best rules is that the agreement must be fair. A postnuptial agreement that is skewed heavily in favor of one party or another would not be considered valid.
- It cannot be used to determine or restrict child custody in the case of divorce.
- The agreement cannot contain anything that encourages divorce. Basically, one party cannot hope to benefit financially or otherwise from a divorce.
Why Get a Postnuptial Agreement?
Since the postnuptial agreement is being hammered out after the marriage has occurred, there can sometimes be a difference in the reasoning for a postnup versus a prenup.
There are several potential reasons for why one would be getting a postnuptial agreement instead of having taken care of such an agreement before the wedding.
- Lack of time: Planning and executing a wedding is demanding and time consuming. It’s possible that you always intended to enter into such an agreement but only found the time after the bells had finished ringing.
- Emphatic Advice: Perhaps a friend or relative has convinced you that a postnuptial agreement is a good way to “play it safe” and it was something you had not considered before the marriage.
- Negative Postnuptial Event: Finally, it is also possible that something has happened since you have been married that makes you question the security of your assets if there is a divorce.
Contact Houlon Berman
With all the potential reasons to get a postnuptial agreement, it’s a great idea to consult with a family law lawyer regarding your reasons for wanting the agreement as well as what you expect from it.
The law firm of Houlon, Berman, Finci & Levenstein, LLC has a reputation for compassionate and personal service. They strive to provide you with the best legal counsel possible, and to represent your best interest aggressively while remaining sensitive to the situation.
Visit our Preparing a Prenuptial Agreement page for additional information
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