How a postnuptial agreement can save your marriage
Written by Michelle N. Ogborne

How a postnuptial agreement can save your marriage

It’s no secret that Americans experience a lot of stress about their finances. Many people live paycheck to paycheck, and the overwhelming number of expenses is often their central focus of worry. These problems can be a common reason for fights in a marriage. Whether one of you is frugal and the other an impulsive spender or both of you are working overtime to make ends meet, your marriage can face some tough times due to money.

Janet and Mike have been married seven years. Mike recently started a business. Janet’s income has been keeping them afloat, while Mike’s debt is swiftly growing. Janet worries that the years she put in fixing her credit will be at risk if the business doesn’t work out. Their once smooth marriage is now full of anger, fights, and fear. Janet wants Mike to succeed, but she doesn’t want to lose everything if the business fails. Mike doesn’t want to put her at risk either, but he wants to keep trying to make his business work. They feel stuck.

A friend tells Janet about postnuptial agreements. Mike and Janet work with an attorney to learn more about how they work. As the conversation continues, they realize it may be exactly what they need to save their marriage.

What is a postnuptial agreement?

A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, but it is written after a couple is married. It addresses issues and responsibilities and can help couples legally spell out their expectations.

How does a postnuptial agreement work?

Just like a prenup, a postnup addresses common issues. While it can be used in a divorce, it can also add peace of mind to a marriage. A postnuptial agreement can include:

  • Which debt belongs to who
  • Who is responsible for paying off each debt
  • Who holds what property
  • Roles in a family-owned business
  • What happens to a business in the event of a divorce
  • Allocation of income
  • How funds are distributed in a blended family

How can postnuptial agreements reduce stress in a marriage?

Postnuptial agreements can help couples move past major financial issues and roadblocks. By resolving feelings and addressing issues, they can focus on their marriage. It can help reduce emotional stress by providing a way to safely air frustration, worries, and things that aren’t working.

What other situations can you use a postnuptial agreement?

Postnuptial agreements can include more than just money; they can also address infidelity. Also known as a “lifestyle clause,” a postnuptial agreement can discuss what happens if a spouse cheats. It’s a way for spouses to let each other know that they are willing to pay the consequences if they have an affair. For some, a postnup may be enough to stay and work through the complex feelings infidelity can create.

Contact a Professional

If you and your spouse are ready to deal with issues that are eroding your marriage, contact Ogborne Law to discuss a postnuptial agreement.