Unlike prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements come into play after a couple legally marries. One party may request a postnuptial agreement for several reasons, including an unexpected inheritance, a significant change in financial status, or other unexpected circumstances.
Partner Eric Broder discusses the topic of postnuptial agreements in our latest video blog, including what a postnuptial agreement entails, how these agreements are typically drafted, and more. His insights are summarized below.
What Is a Postnuptial Agreement?
Postnuptial agreements are actually documents that are very similar to prenuptial agreements, which many people are familiar with. The major difference is postnuptial agreements are signed after parties are actually married, not before, as would be the case with a prenuptial agreement.
When Are Postnuptial Agreements Generally Drafted In Connecticut Cases?
Generally, a postnuptial agreement is drafted after the marriage has begun, when there’s a substantial financial circumstance or change, for example, or when a large inheritance is received from a family member or a trust. In those cases, some people will enter into postnuptial agreements. We’ve also seen businesses being passed from a parent to a child, and in those cases, people have entered into postnuptial agreements to protect the assets of the business. On a more upsetting side, if one spouse has an affair, for example, and there’s a lack of trust, it is not uncommon for a spouse to request a postnuptial agreement to ensure they’re financially secure should something else happen that threatens the marriage.
What Is Required For a Postnuptial Agreement To Be Valid?
Postnuptial agreements generally are treated the same way prenuptial agreements are concerning the structure or the requirements necessary for them to be valid. For example, there needs to be full disclosure of both parties’ wealth, assets, income, and liabilities at or very close to the time they sign the postnuptial agreement. It is strongly recommended that each party retain their own attorneys. Acknowledging that no one was forced to enter into a postnuptial agreement is also recommended. Lastly, it’s required that each person not only have ample time to review the agreement but also to review various drafts and discuss them with their attorney.
Will My Postnuptial Agreement Be Valid In The Event I Get a Divorce?
The answer, more so today than years ago, is likely yes. However, there are a few caveats. A substantial health concern may render someone unable to care for themselves, or an individual may require substantial financial assistance to maintain their health so they won’t become a charge on the state of Connecticut and, for example, receive extra-governmental benefits. In such cases, an agreement may not be considered valid. However, if the rules discussed in the previous question are followed, the agreement will likely be considered valid, as there is case law in Connecticut that supports this.
If you have questions regarding postnuptial agreements, it’s advised that you seek experienced counsel. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.