It’s a prenup, with a few twists
By Ben Steverman
He cheats. She wants a divorce. He pleads for forgiveness. She’ll stay, for a price: If they ever do divorce, she wants the house, the car, and a hefty slice of their other assets.
That kind of deal is possible with a postnuptial agreement, a legal contract between spouses who intend to stay together on what happens if their marriage ends. Also known as a postmarital agreement, it’s an increasingly popular variant of the prenuptial agreements that engaged couples have been signing for decades.
Couples often have very different reasons for signing postnups than prenups. And because postnups are newer and less common, it’s harder to predict whether courts will enforce one.
“A post-nuptial agreement can be an effective tool in prolonging a marriage. It can serve as a band-aid to address issues that crop up during marriage, such as a loss of trust, poor financial management, or even disputes about household chores.
“But a piece of paper cannot save a marriage by itself. I often recommend that signing a post-nuptial agreement be paired with marriage counseling. I also strongly encourage my post-nuptial agreement clients to steer clear of entering into agreements based on guilt.”