Timing in creating a postnuptial agreement

| Oct 24, 2019 | Property Division |

Some New Jersey couples are unable to compose a prenuptial agreement in time for the wedding, or they might believe they do not need one. However, for a variety of reasons, married couples without prenuptials may decide to go ahead and create a postnuptial agreement. However, waiting too long to create a postnuptial accord could be more complicated when it comes to addressing your assets. 

According to Business Insider, if you wait until days before the wedding to sign a prenuptial or just before you are ready to go before the altar, a judge might not enforce it. A judge may decide that a spouse was not given enough time to look at an agreement before signing it. So timing is very important when you sign a prenuptial agreement, and could be the reason a prenuptial is not enforced in court. 

However, timing is much less of a factor when signing a postnuptial agreement. A couple can create a postnuptial agreement immediately after the wedding, or a year, five years, ten, or even longer after tying the knot. However, there are reasons not to wait until a lot of time has progressed into the marriage, and they principally have to do with your assets. 

With a prenuptial agreement, you and your spouse can designate property and assets to be separate property and not subject to division in a divorce. However, once you get married without a prenup, assets you acquire during your marriage are going to be considered marital property. Provided that your newly acquired assets meet certain conditions and are not commingled with other marital property, they will not be considered separate property. 

This does not mean you cannot create a postnuptial agreement that sorts out your assets, only that the situation will become more complicated if you wait too long and have acquired some wealth since your marriage began. It will take careful planning to address what will happen to assets that you and your spouse have attained since tying the knot. Provisions will have to be specific and explain exactly what you want to happen. 

This is not to say that postnuptial agreements composed late in a marriage are always a problem. FindLaw points out that postnuptials may be needed if certain issues arise over the course of a marriage, such as when a spouse leaves work to care for young children, or when a spouse accumulates a lot of debt. Sometimes couples find their prenuptial agreement no longer reflects their desires and want to compose a new agreement. Working out these issues with a postnuptial may prevent problems down the road. 



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