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How can a postnuptial agreement be beneficial to me?

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Several weeks ago we dedicated a blog post to discussing prenuptial agreements and how they can be beneficial to Arizona couples. While this is certainly true in many instances, you may not have entered into such an agreement before tying the knot. The good news is that it is not too late to create an agreement between yourself and your spouse in order to protect your assets in the event of a divorce.

A postnuptial agreement is very similar to a prenuptial agreement, except it is created after marriage. Just like a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement can address a variety of divorce issues, including alimony and property division. Hopefully by drafting this document and signing it, you and your spouse can avoid disputes down the road and focus instead on your marriage.

When entering into one of these agreements it is vital that you and your spouse fully and fairly disclose all assets and that you are each represented by separate counsel. By doing this, you ensure that your best interests are protected and that you reach an agreement that is fair to both parties. You should also consider discussing the agreement over time so that it remains pertinent to you and your spouse's wishes.

While it may seem simple, a postnuptial agreement can actually be quite complicated. You and your spouse should discuss your assets, income, liabilities, what happens in the event of divorce or death, alimony, insurance, and identify inheritances and gifts and decide how they will be handled if the marriage dissolves. Failing to adequately asses these matters could leave you susceptible to an unfair divorce that renders you incapable of continuing the financial life to which you have grown accustomed. Therefore, if a postnuptial agreement seems right for you, then you should consider speaking with an experienced family law attorney.

Source: Equality in Marriage Institute, "Creating a Postnuptial Agreement," accessed on Nov. 30, 2014

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