The postnuptial agreement serves as a viable alternative for spouses who made a decision to marry without a prenuptial agreement. It offers married couples an opportunity to protect each other’s individual assets and financial health in the event of a divorce or legal separation.
Although postnuptial agreements largely circumvent some of the emotionally sensitive hardships of discussing a prenuptial agreement, it comes with its own set of difficulties and complexities. Consulting a family law professional is always recommended in these cases. The attorneys of Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C. assist clients across San Mateo County with negotiating an agreement that is fair for all parties involved.
Why Sign a Postnuptial Agreement?
Postnuptial agreements are signed for largely the same reasons as prenuptial agreements. In some cases, it may be used to clearly define how each party’s property is distributed upon dissolution.
In other cases, one or both of the spouses may come under drastic changes (positive or negative) in their financial situation that may make both parties consider a postnuptial agreement. Examples include parties suddenly coming into large sums of money, such as inheritances, or coming under financial ruin, such as bankruptcies or legal troubles.
The Unforeseen Hurdles of a Postnuptial Agreement
On paper, negotiating a postnuptial agreement may seem simpler and less emotionally taxing than a prenuptial agreement. Although this may be true, postnuptial agreements do bring their unique difficulties to the negotiation process.
One of the main difficulties lies in the fact that upon marriage, each spouse now has a fiduciary or confidential relationship with each other. Both spouses have a duty to act for the benefit of each party involved and in the utmost good faith. Essentially, neither spouse is legally permitted to take advantage over the other. This means that any postnuptial agreement that seems largely unfair or blatantly one-sided may not be seen as enforceable.
What Can and Cannot Be Covered by a Postnuptial Agreement in California
For the most part, everything that can be generally covered in a prenuptial agreement also can be covered by a postnuptial agreement. That includes:
- Division of property
- Division of assets, including inheritances
- Transferring rights for pension benefits
Postnuptial agreements can also be used to revisit any existing financial arrangements including property or assets. One of the most common examples is a transmutation agreement, in which spouses agree to alter designations of property – for example, changing separate property to community property, and vice versa.
A postnuptial agreement may not cover matters of child support or child custody. Postnuptial agreements which include these terms may be considered largely unenforceable.
Assisting with Postnuptial Agreements in San Mateo County for 30+ Years
What can and cannot be enforceable in a postnuptial agreement often varies by state, and many of the complex topics involved can be incredibly confusing to decipher without the help of an experienced attorney. The Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., has more than 35 years of experience consulting clients on divorce and other matters of family law. We proudly serve the people of San Mateo County, including Daly City, Foster City, Menlo Park, San Bruno, South San Francisco, and Burlingame.
Postnuptial agreements can be an incredibly important document that largely determines your financial future in the case of unfortunate developments in your marriages – and drafting an agreement can be an especially delicate process. The lawyers at the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C. exercise extreme attention to detail and are incredibly meticulous through the negotiation process, ensuring that the agreement is fair for all parties involved.
If you are considering a postnuptial agreement, please contact us online, or call 415.834.1120 to discuss your options with a family law professional.