While many people are familiar with the concept of a prenup, the idea of a postnuptial agreement might not be as well-known. A postnuptial agreement is a binding legal document signed by a married couple that stipulates some of the terms of a potential divorce. The agreement does not mean the couple will get divorced, but it does provide financial certainty should the relationship fail in the future.
An experienced family law attorney could advise you on your rights regarding a postnuptial agreement. Whether you are protecting a closely-held business or have concerns after partner infidelity, a discussion with a Hamilton County postnuptial agreements lawyer could be in your best interest.
A post-marital agreement, or a postnup, is a contract executed by a couple after their marriage. These documents are legally binding contracts enforceable by either party against the other. While couples can use prenups to address some issues regarding their children, these contracts generally focus on the financial issues associated with marriage dissolution.
Unlike a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement requires both parties to have additional consideration for the contract to be binding. Consideration involves both parties exercising a right to do something or refrain from doing something. A skilled lawyer in Hamilton County could shed light on what constitutes consideration for a postnuptial agreement.
These agreements can address a range of circumstances should the couple divorce in the future. Often, postnuptial agreements establish the division of property should one spouse die. Further, it is not unusual for a spouse to use a postnuptial agreement to ensure a child from another marriage inherits upon their passing.
Couples can have varying reasons for entering into a postnuptial agreement during the course of their marriage. While it is a common assumption that these agreements usually stem from a separation or near-divorce, that is not always the case. If a couple is considering signing a postnuptial agreement for any reason, they should contact a Hamilton County attorney as soon as possible.
In some situations, couples who have already decided to divorce use a postnuptial agreement as a mechanism to streamline the process. If the couple reaches an agreement on issues such as spousal support or property division, they could use the contract to greatly simplify the divorce process.
There are times when postnuptial agreements are not about assets. Instead, these agreements could result from one spouse incurring substantial debt during the marriage. Retaining local legal counsel to draft a postnuptial agreement in this situation could free the spouse who is uninvolved in the debt from financial accountability.
For a postnuptial agreement to be enforceable, it must be generally fair to both parties. If the contract is highly biased toward either party or does not benefit one spouse at all, a judge may refuse to enforce its terms. For example, a postnup that includes a waiver of alimony when one party earns substantially more than the other and the financially dependent spouse has no other means of economic support might not pass the legal test for fairness.
Additionally, as with all contracts under Tennessee law, each party must enter the agreement freely and voluntarily. Undue pressure or coercion on one party by the other could constitute grounds for invalidating the contract.
Finally, to ensure a post-marital contract’s validity, both parties must fully disclose their financial circumstances to the other before signing the contract. Agreements resulting from false, inaccurate, or incomplete financial disclosure are generally not valid under state law.
If the circumstances of your marriage have changed, a postnuptial agreement might provide you with the peace of mind you have been missing. Addressing the factors surrounding a potential divorce ahead of time could ensure both spouses are treated fairly.
Contact a skilled Hamilton County post-marital agreements lawyer for sound legal advice. By talking through your situation with a member of our dedicated legal team, you could explore all legal options available to you and make the best choice for you and your family.