Postnuptial Agreements

Postnuptial Agreements

Postnuptial agreements are becoming increasingly common. Unlike prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements are entered into after the marriage. They cover many of the same issues commonly covered in prenuptial agreements, such as asset protection, debt division and spousal support. At Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri, our attorneys have significant experience in working with couples to draft and execute postnuptial agreements.

Drafting Effective Postnuptial Agreements

Many people are hesitant to enter into a postnuptial agreement because they believe that they adversely impact one spouse while benefiting the other. However, postnuptial agreements can protect assets as well as shield spouses from debts. Some scenarios where postnuptial agreements are a good idea include:

  • One spouse wants to borrow a significant amount of money to start up a business. The other spouse does not want to share in the debt that is created should the business fail. A postnuptial agreement can be drafted to shield one spouse from the debt burden in the event of a divorce.
  • One spouse receives a large inheritance and wants to invest it in an existing family business, but he or she wants to ensure that if there is a divorce the value of the inheritance will be protected. A postnuptial agreement can be drafted to protect the value of the investment in the business.
  • A postnuptial agreement can also be drafted so that real estate and community property is divided equitably rather than equally (a 50-50 split), as prescribed by California law.

Since the legal relationship between people changes once they are married, it is vital to have an experienced attorney draft any postnuptial agreement. Courts carefully scrutinize postnuptial agreements to ensure that they were entered into voluntarily, without coercion, duress or undue influence.

Our attorneys are prepared to help clients create targeted, legally binding postnuptial agreements. While we work with couples to create postnuptial agreements, we always recommend that they have them reviewed by legal counsel. This can make it more difficult for either spouse to later challenge the agreement.