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Should you ask for a postnuptial agreement if you don’t have a prenup?

Prenuptial agreements used to be regarded pretty negatively, but they’ve become increasingly accepted and downright common – except you didn’t get one.

Maybe you were married before social attitudes about prenups started changing or maybe you simply felt too uncomfortable to bring up the topic before your marriage. Now, however, you’re wondering if you made a mistake.

A postnuptial agreement can accomplish the same goals

The whole point of a prenup is to keep acrimony down and cooperation high if there’s ever a divorce. A good prenup can make both halves of a couple feel more secure about their future – because they know exactly what to expect in a split. It can also eliminate the incentive on both sides to fight over the family finances, which can make a divorce more peaceful (and faster).

But, do you actually need a postnuptial agreement? Maybe. Here are some good reasons to consider one:

  • You’re starting a business. Not only should you have a postnup that carves your business out as a separate asset, but your business partners or investors may require it so that they don’t have to worry that a divorce will upset their operations.
  • You’re inheriting a lot of money. While inheritances are generally considered each person’s separate assets, an inheritance can easily be commingled and become part of the marital estate. A postnup can help clarify what belongs to you and keep it separate.
  • You’ve had marital problems. If you’ve been on the edge of divorce but you want to try again, a postnup can give you some boundaries and take away some tensions so that you can focus on rebuilding the relationship.
  • You have a blended family. You can use a postnup to secure inheritances and make sure that none of the kids is left without a fair share of your estate.

If you regret not getting a prenuptial agreement, there’s still time to rectify the situation. Experienced legal guidance can help.