Executing a postnuptial agreement instead of a legal separation

Choosing to marry your spouse may have been one of the easiest decisions you have ever made. Opting to end your marriage, though, may be much more difficult. If you are not ready to file for divorce, you may be considering a legal separation. A postnuptial agreement may be a better option.

There are dozens of reasons a couple may choose to remain married despite marital problems. For example, you may have religious objections to divorce. You may also want to stay married for the well-being of your children. Regardless of your rationale, you likely have some options.

Legal separation 

Legal separation has many of the characteristics of a divorce without being one. That is, if you choose to pursue legal separation, you must obtain a court order that requires you to comply with certain obligations. You also decide how to divide marital property. You remain married, though.

Postnuptial agreements 

You have probably heard about prenuptial agreements. These agreements, which couples execute before the marriage occurs, usually describe what happens to marital and other assets in the event of a divorce. By contrast, a postnuptial agreement happens after the marriage takes place. You can draft a postnuptial agreement at any point following your marriage. In the agreement, you may address what happens during the dissolution of your marriage, ongoing marital responsibilities and other important topics.

Major differences 

As you may suspect, there are some significant differences between a legal separation and postnuptial agreements. Significantly, with legal separation, you assert there are problems with the marriage. That may or may not be the case with a postnuptial agreement. Also, unlike a legal separation that requires you to obtain a court order, a postnuptial agreement is a contract between you and your spouse.

If your marriage is not working out like you expected, you may be exploring options both for improving your quality of life and securing a better future. By understanding how a postnuptial agreement may be an alternative to both divorce and legal separation, you can make the right choice for you and your family.

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