When a couple marries, it may be difficult to fully predict in what direction life will take them. In fact, their financial circumstances can quickly change — either positively or negatively. As such, couples in Missouri who determined that a prenuptial agreement was not necessary prior to their marriage may ultimately decide that some sort of written agreement is necessary afterward. Fortunately, an attorney with experience with family law can help them understand the options available to them.
For example, many couples who are already married turn to a postnuptial agreement. Similar to a prenuptial agreement in that it discusses how assets (and debts) will be divided in the event of a divorce, it is signed after the couple is married rather than before. While such an agreement can help smooth the divorce process for any couple, it could be especially pertinent in certain scenarios.
First, many couples who are expecting a child may choose to create such an agreement; often with children comes major financial decisions, such as upgrading to a bigger home or creating college savings plans. It is an excellent time for spouses to have a frank conversation about their financial situation and their expectations for the future. Additionally, a postnuptial agreement may be prudent for someone experiencing or expecting to experience a financial windfall; often these agreements can protect an inheritance or a successful business from division during a divorce.
While a postnuptial agreement has an important role in family law and can help in a variety of circumstances, there are some limitations, including that decisions regarding child custody likely cannot be determined. Often, what is enforceable in a pre or postnuptial agreement is subject to state law. This makes it especially important to seek guidance from a professional with experience with the laws in Missouri