One of the many questions people have before marriage is what happens to their assets if there’s a divorce. Divorce can be messy, and without the right legal moves, people often fear they’ll lose everything they own afterward.
Luckily, people have the option to safeguard their assets in marriage by creating a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement. These legal documents not only protect assets but can make the divorce process go smoothly.
Here’s what you should know:
What is a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement lists each spouse’s assets before marriage and ensures they take all that back with them after a divorce. This doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a divorce. Rather, it safeguards against the possibility of a contentious divorce, since much of the process is settled in advance.
Prenups are great for people going into a high-asset marriage. This way the marital responsibilities are clarified and can help weed out people who are only marrying for money. It can also protect against debt and create the right to alimony.
What is a postnuptial agreement?
A postnuptial agreement works just like a prenup: it protects assets in a divorce. But, contrary to popular belief, postnups have more use than just making up for a forgotten prenup. Postnups can help redefine the arrangement set in a prenup if the relationship has changed.
In other words, assets gained in a marriage may be negotiated into a postnup and replace a previously established prenup. Some people create postnups after having children, starting a business or inheriting money.
If you’re looking to secure your assets, you may need to know your legal options.