by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA
One of the main topics at my latest seminar was prenup’s younger cousin, the postnuptial agreement, or postnup. “I didn’t sign a prenup,” one woman confessed, “and my husband’s spending habits are keeping me up at night. But if I demand that we draft a postnup, he’s going to think I want to divorce him.”
A common dilemma indeed. While postnups still lag far behind prenups in terms of popularity, they do fill a crucial function. Signing one does not mean you don’t trust your partner, or that you are getting a divorce. It is simply a way to take control over your finances. If you are contemplating one, here’s what you should know:
- As postnups are newer and fewer cases have been tested in court, they lack the solidity of their pre-marital counterparts.
- Child support issues cannot be settled in postnups.
- There can be no skeletons in your closet, should you go for a postnup. If it turns out you failed to include (or simply forgot) any assets at the time of the drafting, the postnup will lose its validity.
- You only need one lawyer in order to draft a postnup, but you need two to put it into practice.
- Postnups can be – and frequently are – used to update prenups. This is great news indeed. As your life together changes, you are not stuck but can adapt to the new circumstances.