Do I Need a Postnuptial Agreement?

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A Scottsdale divorce attorney discusses the benefits of postnuptial agreements.

Maybe is the short answer. It depends on your circumstances and needs, among other things. Understanding what postnuptial agreements are and when they can be beneficial, as we will point out below, can help you figure out if developing one of these agreements with your spouse may be appropriate.

What are Postnuptial Agreements?

Postnuptial agreements are legal contracts detailing certain financial responsibilities and/or entitlements during a marriage or following a divorce. Signed after a couple has married, postnuptial agreements can cover issues that include (but may not be limited to):

  • How marital property is to be divided upon divorce
  • How marital debt will be divided during the marriage and/or upon divorce
  • What assets will remain separate property
  • How one spouse’s business interests will be addressed in the event of a divorce

Issues that cannot legally be determined by the terms of postnuptial agreements include (but may not be limited to):

When Postnuptial Agreements can be Beneficial

In general, married people who can benefit from developing postnuptial agreements include (but may not be limited to) those who:

  • Did not have time to develop a prenuptial agreement (prenup) – The stress of planning a wedding can make it easy to forget a few of the finer points, like getting that prenup written, reviewed and signed. For couples who overlooked or didn’t have time to get this done before getting married, postnuptial agreements can be helpful.
  • Need to update a prenup – When it’s been some time since a prenup was put in place and the marital and/or separate assets of either or both parties have changed substantially, developing a postnuptial agreement can effectively update the prenup that may no longer offer the protections it once did.
  • Want to protect their business – When businesses are started before, during or after a marriage, postnuptial agreements can set up terms for whether or how the other spouse may receive interests or shares in the business.
  • Are in the estate planning process – Because postnuptial agreements can be used to confer certain marital property (like the marital home, for instance) to one spouse, these agreements can also be useful when couples are estate planning.
  • May be trying to resolve financial problems in the marriage – When one spouse may have debt or gambling issues, postnuptial agreements can provide that this spouse covers his or her own debts in the future. In these situations, postnuptial agreements can be integral to resolving potentially major marital issues.
  • Want to financially prepare for divorce – When marriages are just not working – and there’s no hope of fixing them, postnuptial agreements can help divide the marital property, preparing couples for divorce. This can help facilitate a future divorce, possibly even reducing the duration and costs of the process.
Contact a Scottsdale Divorce Attorney at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau

Do you need help protecting your financial interests in marriage or divorce? If so, you can rely onScottsdale Divorce Attorney Karen Schoenau. Schedule an initial consultation with her today by calling 480-209-1918 or by emailing us using the drop-down contact form at the top of this page.

From her offices based on Scottsdale, Attorney Karen Schoenau represents clients throughout the metropolitan Scottsdale area, including in Scottsdale, Mesa, Surprise, Maricopa County, Pinal County, Gila County and throughout the state of Arizona.

Client Reviews
Karen is highly respected in the legal community. She is effective and thorough. Karen just keeps going regardless of the odds.
Karen was extremely helpful setting up my petition for conciliation. She is by far the most knowledgeable attorney regarding the necessary paperwork, how to file the petition and where it has to be submitted. She listened intently when I was describing my situation and intentions. She was very responsive to my questions and request. She is trustworthy and diligent . I would recommend her to anyone having marital issues. Mark
Very high customer/client considerate. We found Karen when we were forced to leave another Phoenix lawyer due to his bad advice and lack of interest to help us. We were in Phoenix for six days from Michigan with nothing happening but a high wasted expense. Karen and her firm took us in and solved our issue with the courts etc. in two and a half days. Karen’s professionalism with us was very cost effective/productive. If we would have found her first, we would have saved thousands of dollars. Her interest for us was very high. She returned every call. She knew every answer to our questions. She did this for us with a death in her family. She left for a funeral and made sure we were treated with the same professionalism from her firm to finish up. I recommend Karen and her firm with very high satisfaction. Our case is custody with one parent in prison. We will return to Phoenix someday with interests for the child and his parent, if needed. Karen will be our top choice. Nolan
Karen and Bonita are wonderful!! I know that the word "wonderful" is used a lot, but the team they make and the work they did for me can only be described as WONDERFUL!! Yes there where ups and downs in my case, but that is the system and Karen along with Bonita guided and taught me as "WE" went through it together. Karen’s easy going manner and her knowledge really helped me with the emotional part of my divorce. I used the team of Karen and Bonita both times I needed to go to court with my ex and had results that were best for my little girl. Some times I did not get what I wanted, but it was what my daughter needed. Looking back at my case, I made the right choice and would do it again in a heart beat!! Jim
Karen was extremely supportive during a very trying time in our lives. She helped me to put things in perspective and think positive when I was overwhelmed. She is very knowledgeable about the laws pertaining to grandparents rights and the rights of the parents and knew how to provide the appropriate laws pertaining to the situation we were in. I am so grateful for her expertise and guidance. She proved to be very aggressive when she needed to be but was also supportive to my and my children. I would recommend her to anyone in a similar situation. Deanna