Prenuptial agreements are a widely discussed topic among those who are planning to get married in New Jersey and elsewhere, but not many have heard about postnuptial agreements. While prenups occur before marriage certificates are signed, postnups occur after these certificates have been signed. However, they both serve the purpose of protecting a married person's assets in the event of divorce.
Just like a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement is a legally binding tool that clearly spells out how liabilities and assets are to be dealt with if a divorce happens. This type of agreement thus helps to prevent unnecessary squabbling between the two divorcing parties. It also offers the benefit of expediting the required legal proceedings as well as the splitting of assets.
In addition to addressing matters such as the division of assets, a postnup can also be used to outline particular responsibilities. For instance, early in a marriage, the two spouses may decide to put in writing who will handle tasks such as paying the bills. Other tasks that can be addressed include filing taxes and even the usage of certain bank accounts.
Just because two people who are going through divorce never put together a prenup or postnup does not mean all hope is lost, however. The couple can still try to negotiate the division of their assets and other matters that are important to them, such as spousal support, without further court intrusion. A judge in New Jersey will have to step in and make critical decisions for the couple, though, if the two cannot see eye to eye in such areas.
Source: seekingalpha.com, "What Every Woman Should Know About Prenuptial And Postnuptial Agreements", Russ Thornton, April 18, 2017