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Should you get a postnuptial agreement?

When people marry, they may decide against signing a prenuptial agreement. Some think that it's unromantic, or pessimistic to think about divorce before the wedding happens. After they walk down the aisle, they may see things a bit differently but worry that there is no way to make a change. 

However, New Jersey couples may decide that a postnuptial agreement is right for them. A postnup essentially accomplishes the same thing as a prenup. It outlines how a couple will divide their assets if they divorce, but it is signed after two people marry. If you are wondering if you should have one, here are some common reasons people sign a postnup.

Conditions that exist before the marriage

There are certain circumstances that exist before a couple decides to wed that may encourage them to have a postnuptial agreement. One of the most common happens when two people want to pass their inheritance to someone other than their new spouse. This happens often with older people who may have children from previous relationships. They may want to ensure that their assets pass to their own children rather than to their new spouse and that spouse's children.

Conditions that happen after marriage

Sometimes couples decide to sign a postnuptial agreement because of a change after getting married. One common reason happens when one or both spouses want to guard their retirement fund. If they have built up significant retirement savings, divorce can negatively impact them. Using a postnuptial agreement to outline how to handle retirement accounts may protect both spouses.

Sometimes one spouse in a marriage may suddenly increase his or her wealth. It might make sense to sign a postnuptial agreement to specifically define what may happen to those assets in the event of divorce. This is especially helpful if the wealthier spouse may make even more money in the future.

When you might divorce, but you aren't sure

Some couples want to separate but aren't yet ready to divorce. Creating a postnuptial agreement before starting the divorce process may be a time-saver and help prevent future disagreements. This is especially true if the two spouses are on relatively good terms with one another. 

The bottom line is that creating a postnuptial agreement isn't assuming the worst. It may be a sensible plan that is in the best interest of both spouses. If you and your spouse still aren't certain, consulting legal professionals may help you understand your options.

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