Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
At Levitt Family Law & Mediation we help clients establish both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
A premarital or “prenuptial” agreement is a contract between two people who plan to marry.
Prior to your marriage, the parties decide how they want their individual property and any joint property to be divided in the event the marriage terminates, whether by death or divorce. Spousal support may also be addressed in a premarital agreement.
The premarital agreement is often associated with couples who have different levels of wealth at the time of their marriage, or when at least one of the parties has been married previously and seeks to preserve their wealth for their children or protect their wealth from the new spouse. However, prenuptial agreements are becoming more common for the “average” couple, as more and more people are marrying later in life and each have already accumulated assets. Additionally, people are more familiar with prenuptial agreements and due to high divorce rates, many couples planning on marriage consider a prenuptial agreement as part of the planning process.
Couples enter into postmarital or postnuptial agreements for the same reasons they enter into premarital agreements, the main difference being that post-nuptial agreements are drafted by a family law firm after a couple has already been married, often for many years.
The typical client for a postnuptial agreement finds themself in a situation where a divorce is becoming a possibility, yet both parties are still hopeful that they can avoid a divorce. In this situation, spouses can sometimes reach an agreement, outlining the distribution of their property and possible spousal support should divorce occur. Knowing that their financial issues have been decided, they are able to focus on other matters in their marriage, while maintaining predictability should their reconciliation be unsuccessful.