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What is a Post Nuptial Agreement?

When two people take their marriage vows, they hardly anticipate their relationship will end in a separation or divorce. Postnuptial agreements were created to allow parties to reach agreements on how to divide their assets and debts, without getting a divorce.

Many individuals don’t know how postnuptial contracts work and how they are used. If you are considering a postnuptial agreement, review this guide to familiarize yourself with the basics.

What Are the Requirements for a Postnuptial Agreement?

There are three basic requirements for a valid postnuptial agreement. First, the agreement must be in writing. Both spouses must have their own attorney guiding them. Finally, the agreement should be notarized. If a postnuptial agreement meets these three conditions, it will likely be enforceable.

Additional requirements of a postnuptial agreement are for the agreement to be fair. Neither spouse should sign the agreement under involuntary circumstances like coercion, threats, physical force, or deception. Also, the contract cannot leave one spouse with less than what they came with to the marriage. It has to be conscionable.

Lastly, those involved in a postnuptial agreement have to be transparent and honest with each other. This means all assets must be disclosed. The contract will be invalid if one spouse hides assets, property, income, or debts.

What Does a Postnuptial Agreement Include?

One of the main reasons for a postnuptial agreement is to avoid the time-consuming process of dividing property in the event of a dissolution. You may be discussing divorce and you are not sure, but you do want to handle the division of assets and debts, a postnuptial agreement is for you. A postnuptial agreement will lay out who gets what in the event of a divorce.

A postnuptial agreement is very similiar to a prenuptial agreement in what the document does, however, it is completed after marriage. The timing of the document is the difference. In a prenuptial agreement you have the right to modify California law and if there is no agreement, you don’t have to get married. Wtih a postnuptial agreement, you are already married so there is no incentive to agree to sign.

Do You Need a Postnuptial Agreement?

If there are signs your marriage isn’t working, you should consider a postnup to protect your rights. Make plans for property division and assets to simplify the divorce proceedings. You should also consider a postnup to avoid conflict and promote important conversations regarding finances and other marital issues.

Another reason you might consider a postnuptial agreement is when there is a significant change in finances. For example, if one spouse has a career change, an increase in salary, or receives an inheritance.

Your spouses’ actions during the marriage also warrant taking measures to protect yourself from their debts. For example, if your spouse is addicted to gambling, this is a sign your finances will be targeted. A postnuptial agreement will ensure each spouse is liable for their debts.


Even though your marriage is smooth, setting boundaries on a separate and marital property is crucial. For a good understanding of postnuptial agreements, consult a family law attorney. The professional will highlight the benefits of a postnup and help you create one that protects your best interests.


If you are considering a divorce or are in the process of divorce and need a good divorce lawyer, meet with one of the knowledgeable divorce attorneys at Minella Law Group, and let us protect your long-term interests.  We can represent you before or during a divorce mediation, or in any other type of divorce proceeding.

Please call Minella Law Group today at (619) 289-7948 to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Jane Doe says:

    How much does it costs to get a postnuptial agreement considering we have to both have to an attorney for it to be valid?

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