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Should you consider a postnuptial agreement?

Many couples who marry young do not think about prenuptial agreements, because they do not have many assets. If a divorce occurs years later after accumulating wealth, however, a drawn-out, costly fight can occur.

Many couples in Kentucky are not aware that they can still negotiate an agreement after getting married. You and your spouse can use a "postnuptial agreement" to lay out the terms of property division, alimony payments and even financial conditions for your marriage, just like any other contract.

Kentucky law and the state Supreme Court hold that postnuptial agreements are essentially the same as prenuptial agreements, as long as spouses negotiate the agreements in good faith.

When A Postnup May Be A Good Fit

Even if you decided at the time that you did not need a prenuptial agreement, circumstances change. You may want to think about a postnup if you:

  • Own a business and want to lay out a plan for dividing assets and debts. This will be especially important if you and your spouse jointly own the business.
  • Come into an inheritance and want to protect it for yourself after a divorce.
  • Are having trouble managing finances and you and your spouse want to set out ground rules for how to spend your money during the marriage.
  • Received a significant raise at work and you and your spouse want to update alimony guidelines.

How To Negotiate A Postnup

Just like a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement does not mean that you will get a divorce. Instead, you could view it as an opportunity for you and your spouse to talk honestly about your finances. You should then sit down together, examine your changing circumstances, and think about what you want for the marriage and what you may need in the event of a divorce.

If you already have a prenup, you can update it with a postnup, as long as you both agree to the changes. You can also decide to mutually terminate any agreement.

To ensure you have an enforceable agreement, you should always consult with an experienced family law attorney before drafting or signing a postnuptial agreement. Even if you negotiate the terms on your own, it is wise to have a lawyer examine the agreement to ensure you are not setting yourself up for future harm.