Most people are familiar with prenuptial agreements and what they are, but a lot of people do not understand what a postnuptial agreement is. While these agreements have things in common, they also have differences. Here are several important things you should know about the differences between prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements in marriage and divorce.
The similarities of both agreements
When couples get married, the things they own generally become both of theirs to keep, which means the things they own are generally divided evenly if they get divorced. To avoid this general rule, couples will choose to create and sign prenuptial agreements or postnuptial agreements. Both of these agreements allow couples to keep property that is solely theirs when entering a marriage, and this type of agreement is necessary if a couple does not want to combine the things they own or lose their things if they split up.
The timing of each agreement
The key difference between a prenuptial and a postnuptial is the timing of when they are created and signed. For this agreement to be considered a prenuptial agreement, it must be created and signed before the wedding ceremony takes place. In other words, it is made before the marriage is established. A postnuptial agreement is created after the marriage is in place, but it can work exactly the same way as a prenuptial.
The reasons each is used
Prenuptial agreements are commonly used for two main reasons. The first is when one of the spouses entering the marriage is very wealthy to begin with and the other spouse is not, or it can be used if both spouses are wealthy. When used for this purpose, the wealthy spouse does not have to worry about losing half of everything he or she owns if the marriage ends. People use postnuptial agreements for the same purpose, but they may use a prenuptial simply because they ran out of time to create an agreement before the wedding.
People are now starting to use both types of agreements for protection of their children, and this is especially common with second and third marriages. In other words, these agreements are very popular for blended families. An agreement like this would allow a parent to protect his or her kids by keeping the assets each spouse owns separately.
These are important things you should understand about these two types of agreements. If you have questions about them, you can talk to a family lawyer to learn more.