DC Postnuptial Agreement Lawyer

A postnuptial agreement is an agreement entered into before the marriage whereas a post-marital agreement is entered into after the parties have already been married. The main difference is that a premarital agreement will not become valid until and unless a marriage takes place, whereas a post-marital agreement becomes valid as soon as the parties sign it.

If you are interested in building a contract between you and your new spouse, contact a DC post-marital agreement lawyer about your options. A distinguished family attorney can help you gather all the necessary information before filing a valid contract. 

Considering Postnuptial Agreements

Although it is always a good idea to have a post-marital agreement, there are certain situations in which a DC post-marital agreement lawyer would recommend getting a post-marital agreement, such as where one spouse is deciding whether or not to give up their career or their education to stay home for the good of the family. 

It is often a good idea to consider a postnuptial agreement if one spouse quits their job to stay home to raise children or to be a homemaker, as this will result in them becoming financially dependent on the earning spouse and can make them more vulnerable in case the marriage ends.

Role of Financial Dependence

Anytime one spouse is at the mercy of the other spouse’s earning potential, a post-marital can provide a great deal of security in allowing the spouses to know how the division of marital assets will take place if the marriage ends, as well as providing for support for the dependent spouse after the marriage ends.

It is also often a good idea to get a post-marital agreement if one spouse has a much higher amount of assets or debts than the other to ensure that the division of those assets or debts will be equitable and allow both spouses the security of knowing how that will happen if the marriage ends.

Content of a Post-Marital Contract

A post-marital agreement requires the same terms as a valid contract, so there must be full financial disclosure by both parties to enable them to make a voluntary and informed decision to enter into the agreement. It must be in writing and signed by both parties.

A post-marital agreement should typically include a definition of what is marital as opposed to what is non-marital property. Determining marital property is about how the marital assets will be divided in case the marriage ends either through divorce or death of one party. It should determine the amount of alimony payments, if any, that are going to be ordered at the end of the marriage from one spouse to the other.

It is also a good idea to include ways in which divorce proceedings will take place if both spouses can agree upon them. If a couple can include in their post-marital agreement that they will engage in mediation or they would prefer to go through a collaborative divorce process rather than a traditional courtroom divorce proceeding. It may be critical for couples to discuss their case with a DC post-marital agreement lawyer. 

Deciding to have a Mediator 

As opposed to a premarital agreement, a post-marital agreement becomes valid as soon as it is signed, which means that the parties are in a different bargaining position than they would be negotiating a typical prenuptial agreement. They already have legal rights and obligations to one another if the marriage ends in either death or divorce, which, in some cases, can call into question the voluntariness requirement of the agreement.

If a party is seeking to obtain a post-marital agreement and they foresee that their spouse might call into question the validity of the agreement, having a mediator present can ensure that one party is not being pressured by the threat of divorce to enter into the post-marital agreement and it can keep the negotiation fair on both sides.

What Does it Mean to Have a Mediator?

If one party claims during a divorce proceeding that they felt that if they did not sign the agreement or agree to the terms of the agreement that their partner would leave them, that can be considered undue influence and coercion and possibly result in the entire agreement being declared invalid. Having a mediator present will ensure that any discussions and negotiations can take place without this kind of undue pressure being exerted. A DC post-marital agreement lawyer can help couples decide if using a mediator is right for them.