While most couples have heard of the importance of creating and signing a premarital agreement, not everyone does it. Once a couple has entered into the marriage, a post marital agreement can still be created. Discussing the important matters inherent in the process might offer both partners peace of mind.
What does a postmarital agreement contain?
Like a premarital agreement, a postmarital agreement spells out what happens to a couple’s assets in the event of separation or divorce. The couple can also specify which partner is responsible for specific financial obligations during the marriage and how the parties intend to file taxes. The couple might include other details, such as division of household chores, but these are not legally enforceable.
An agreement must meet the following conditions if it is to be enforceable:
Both parties must make a full financial disclosure.
The parties cannot waive child support or visitation rights.
The document must be signed voluntarily by both parties with a witness present.
The advantages of legal representation
California is a community property state. Therefore, in the event of divorce, all the couple’s marital property is divided in half. If a postmarital agreement stipulates that a couple is to divide jointly held property in a manner deviating from the state’s guidelines, it might not be enforceable. Couples are not required by law to have separate attorneys for a postmarital agreement, but it is strongly recommended.
If you and your spouse are on good terms, having an attorney draft your agreement should not be a problem. If you are on rocky marital ground and your partner asks for a postmarital agreement, seek the advice of an attorney before you sign anything.