Most individuals are familiar with prenuptial agreements, but most would be surprised to learn that the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reports that the number of postnuptial agreements is on the rise. Postnuptial agreements can greatly help decide the terms of marital separation or divorce. Introduced in 2013, laws concerning postnuptial agreements in North Dakota are new and provide a guideline for how these agreements should be constructed. Many individuals discover that retaining the assistance of a skilled divorce attorney like the legal counsel at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys can be particularly helpful.
The Advantages of Postnuptial Agreements
Postnuptial agreements are voluntary contracts signed between a couple. While similar to prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements help spouses resolve ongoing conflicts in a marriage. Because postnuptial agreements are created for situations in which a couple is already married, these agreements often apply to property that is considered to belong to both spouses. Postnuptial agreements offer several unique advantages including amending earlier prenups, making sure that children from an earlier marriage receive inheritance from the person’s estate, providing financial security, or providing how assets will be divided in the event of a future divorce or death of one of the parties.
The Elements of a Postnuptial Agreement
Postnuptial agreements can include a variety of terms so long as these conditions are not unfair to either spouse. Many postnuptial agreements concern property division, retirement accounts, or spousal maintenance. Some of the other common elements of postnuptial agreements include business details, debts, joint assets, joint bank accounts, life insurance, mortgage payments, mutual wills, review clauses, savings, and the division of labor between spouses. One example of an element that cannot be contained in a postnuptial agreement is an individual’s ability to waive an obligation to pay child support and agreements re: custody parenting time. Child support is not enforceable in all situations because these payments are often decided in accordance with what is in the best interest of a child. To create a postnuptial agreement, it is essential for individuals to agree to the terms and conditions of the agreement, which often requires the assistance of legal counsel.
Tips on Creating a Post Nuptial Agreement
There are some pieces of advice that spouses who are interested in creating a postnuptial agreement should follow:
- Decide on the goals and objectives that the postnuptial agreement will achieve.
- The postnuptial agreement should clearly express the intentions of the party.
- Both spouses are strongly encouraged to retain their own attorneys. Both attorneys should have the skill and experience necessary to address all issues that might arise concerning postnuptial agreements.
- Spouses should make sure to limit the number of postnuptial agreements that are executed. All terms in the agreement should be important to the couple.
Retain the Assistance of a Skilled Family Law Attorney
The legal counsel at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys is able to help individuals with a variety of family laws issues including prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Contact attorney Tracy Lyson, an experienced family law attorney, at our firm today by either filling out our convenient online form or calling either 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002.