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What should I know about a postnuptial agreement?

A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement; however, the postnuptial agreement is completed after the couple is legally married. There are several reasons why a couple might want to sign a postnuptial agreement. No matter what the reason, it is important to do things the right way so that you remain protected by the postnuptial agreement.

Why would I need a postnuptial agreement?

A postnuptial agreement can help to set the rules for which spouse would get which assets if there is a divorce. It can also divide student loan debts so that each spouse is responsible for his or her own. It can also set the rules for how probate issues are held down the road. A postnuptial agreement is best done after you have scrutinized your finances. Just going over your finances might help you to feel more secure about your marriage.

Do we each need a lawyer?

It is sometimes recommended that three lawyers be involved in a postnuptial agreement. Each spouse should have his or her own attorney and a third attorney should review the agreement. This is because it is important to ensure that you and your spouse understand the agreement and that neither of you is getting the proverbial short end of the stick.

As is the case with any legal agreement, you have to make sure that you fully understand what you are signing when you create a postnuptial agreement. The terms in the postnuptial agreement can have a big impact on the rest of your life, so you must make sure that you can live with it if you end up divorced.

Source:, "What Is a Postnup? Do You Need One?," accessed April. 24, 2015

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