Reasons Why Entering into a Postnuptial Agreement can be Beneficial

Since marital union makes a husband and wife only a single person, a post-nuptial agreement, which is a legal contract that involves two or more persons expressing mutual consent to the contents of an agreement being entered into, can never be considered legally valid since it would be impossible, if not absurd, to enter into a contract with oneself. This notion was maintained until the early part of the 1970s (for husbands and wives who tried to execute a post-nuptial contract) even after U.S. courts dismissed the concept of a man and a woman being only one person after entering into marital union, in order to discourage any possibility of divorce.

The increase of divorce cases after the 1970s, as well as the recognition of “no fault” divorces, however, caused a stir in the legal stand, leading to the acceptance of postnuptial agreements in American jurisprudence.

Postnuptial agreement, also known as marriage agreement, post marriage agreement, post-marital agreement or postnup, is a written contract voluntarily executed by a couple after marriage or civil union. Some couples enter into this agreement to prevent conflict and promote harmony in their relationship, while others choose to execute it to: remove causes of disagreements over finances, assets, and other issues that may arise in the event of divorce or separation; control unacceptable behaviors, like over-spending or adultery; or set parameters over asset and property division (after divorce) due to changes in financial status brought about by changes in investment income, receipt of an inheritance, sale of a business or changes in one’s career.

Though the validity of postnuptial agreements differs from one state to another, judges use the same criteria in determining its legitimacy. These criteria include: its reasonableness to both parties; the mutual consent of both spouses on the contents of the contract; and, the full disclosure of each other’s assets.

Furthermore, it states that a postnuptial agreement will eliminate any possible conflicts and save the couple from heartache and significant time and money because it will clearly point out the terms of marriage.

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