As defined by state law, a post-marital or postnuptial agreement is a financial arrangement between parties after they are married. The agreement becomes enforceable at the time they get divorced if they decide to dissolve the marriage.
There are many legal implications and nuances in signing a postnuptial, as a knowledgeable divorce attorney at our firm could explain. If you are considering this kind of arrangement, reach out to Yates & Wheland today to learn more about post-marital agreement laws in Chattanooga.
Anything that can be included in a prenuptial agreement can be addressed in a postnuptial agreement. The difference is that post-marital contracts often arise once parties are going through marital problems or are anticipating a divorce. Alternatively, one party could agree to stay in a marriage in exchange for the financial reassurance that a post-marital agreement can offer.
In Chattanooga, the law allows couples to set rules for property and asset division in a postnuptial agreement drafted by a skilled attorney. These contracts are generally unlimited in scope as long as they are related to the finances of the parties.
A post-marital agreement can provide legal safeguards for both parties in the event of a divorce. If one spouse is financially dependent on the other, a postnup can help protect their financial future after a divorce. For the high earning spouse with significant assets, a postnup can protect their property and ensure that it is not subject to division in a divorce. A knowledgeable attorney at our Chattanooga office could further explain the legal safeguards offered by a post-marital agreement.
A postnuptial agreement can state who will receive real property in the event of a divorce and what percentage they will receive. The agreement can set the specific amount and duration for spousal maintenance. However, it is important to note that state law does not allow for a postnuptial agreement to set terms for custodial rights and visitation. A court must determine what arrangement is in the best interest of the child.
Designation of a non-spouse beneficiary is more likely to be done in the context of a will or trust rather than a post-marital agreement. For instance, a parent that has a life insurance policy may want to set a third-party trustee for the benefit of their children in the event of a divorce. This would usually be done through a will or trust.
It is important to make sure that the terms of a postnuptial agreement and a will or trust match. If a person sets rules in a postnuptial agreement regarding the disbursement of a life insurance policy, their will should reflect that as well. They do not want to have conflicting documents. A Chattanooga attorney well-versed in post-marital agreement laws could help draft these documents in conjunction with one another to avoid conflicting provisions.
Legally, there are no limitations on what might be considered separate property. Whatever the post-marital agreement states is separate property will be treated as such, so long as the agreement is valid. A lawyer should review the legal nuances of a postnuptial agreement to ensure that it is fair and will be upheld in Chattanooga court.
The assumed intent of post-marital agreements is to simplify the divorce process. If an agreement is done properly, and the parties do decide to go through a divorce, the document provides a set of legal guidelines for what the marriage dissolution process is going to look like. There is a tremendous amount of uncertainty in a divorce, but a postnuptial agreement can resolve some of that uncertainty.
If you wish to learn about post-marital agreement laws in Chattanooga and how they relate to alimony, property division, and other divorce issues, reach out to Yates & Wheland. Call us today to further discuss your situation.