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The importance of good drafting in postnuptial agreements

Family law issues can come up at all different stages of a marriage. All manner of legal matters can arise when a marriage is ending. Also, there can be key legal issues when a marriage is about to form, such as matters regarding prenuptial agreements.

Additionally, impactful family law issues can come up while a couple is married. For example, sometimes, a married couple decides to form a postnuptial agreement. These are also sometimes called postmarital agreements.

This is an agreement a couple forms after getting married which touches on things like what will happen if a divorce ends up occurring. These agreements appear to be growing in popularity lately.

There are a variety of reasons a couple may desire a postnuptial agreement. For one, they may be trying to reconcile after an estrangement, but want to set some clear expectations on what will happen if a divorce does end up happening. Another possibility is that, after getting married, they decide that there were certain things they wish they had addressed in a prenup and that they would like to set up a postnuptial agreement to address these things.

A postnuptial agreement could end up containing terms on a variety of subjects, including property division, alimony, the family home and retirement accounts.

Whatever particular things a postnuptial agreement addresses, how carefully the terms of the agreement are drafted can matter considerably. While careful drafting is important in all family-law-related agreements, it can be particularly so when it comes to postnuptial agreements. This is because such agreements are still a relatively new thing, and thus the law around them can be a little more unsettled than that surrounding family law institutions that have been around for a long time. In the midst of this, the last thing a person may want is to add further uncertainty regarding the effects of the agreement through having clumsy or unclear terms or making mistakes in connection to the drafting of the agreement.

So, when considering having a postnuptial agreement, a married individual may want to seek out the drafting services and guidance of an experienced family law attorney.

Source: Bloomberg, “Why More Couples Are Signing Postnuptial Agreements,” Ben Steverman, April 28, 2017

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