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Postnup Attorney in Rock Hill, SC

Protecting Clients’ Rights and Interests by Educating Them on the Benefits of Postnuptial Agreements

When you get married, you plan for a future and a life together with your spouse. But the truth is that not all stories end in a fairy tale, and it’s important to take steps to ensure you are prepared if the relationship sours. Many people are familiar with the financial protection offered by a prenuptial agreement, but what if you’re already married? A postnup is a post marital agreement that provides similar protections.

If you didn’t have a chance to create a prenuptial agreement, a postnup can bring added financial security and peace of mind. Call The Howze Law Firm to speak with an experienced family law attorney about the benefits of a postnuptial agreement and how they work under South Carolina law.

What Is a Postnuptial Agreement?

A postnuptial agreement is a legal contract between two people who are married. The goal of a postnup is to have as much as possible regarding property division and financial matters agreed upon beforehand in case of a divorce later on. Postnuptial agreements outline how assets and debts will be split up and whether spousal support will be a factor. A postnup can outline how much spousal support will be paid and for how long. It can also identify assets as separate or marital property for property division purposes.

How Does a Postnuptial Agreement Differ From a Separation Agreement or Prenuptial Agreement?

A postnuptial agreement is different from a separation agreement. Separation agreements are similar to divorce decrees, except the marriage isn’t ended. The postnuptial agreement outlines the financial terms of a divorce or separation, while the separation agreement is the actual court order that is put in place when the legal separation is filed.

Postnuptial and prenuptial agreements are very similar, and the main difference is when the enforceable contract is signed. Prenuptial agreements are signed before the marriage, and postnuptial agreements are signed afterward.

What Are the Benefits of Postnuptial Agreements?

One of the biggest benefits of a postnuptial agreement is that it clarifies both parties’ financial rights and responsibilities. Each spouse knows exactly what assets they would get and what debts they would be responsible for in the event of a divorce. This can reduce tension and conflict during the marriage and make the divorce process much smoother and faster if the marriage ends.

A postnuptial agreement also allows you to protect individual assets or business interests from being subject to the marital property division guidelines. This can be helpful if you have children from another marriage and you want to ensure they receive certain assets in their inheritances, for example.

What Should You Include in a Postnup?

What should be included in a postnuptial agreement depends on the assets and financial circumstances of the couple. However, there are some specific parameters for what a postnup can dictate. In general, anything related to property division or spousal support payments can be listed in a postnup. Some couples may want to ensure that certain assets are set aside as separate property so that they can retain them in a divorce. Others may want to decide ahead of time who will get what assets and how marital debts will be divided. A postnup might outline that one party gets the marital home and the other receives a rental property, for example.

Postnuptial agreements can’t include any terms related to child support or child custody. For example, a postnup can’t dictate that the mother gets sole legal custody or that one party will pay a certain amount of child support to the other. These are separate matters in family law and must be decided based on the best interests of the children and South Carolina’s laws.

While it can be tempting to include these things in a postnup, you run the risk of a judge declaring the entire agreement void. If that happens, all the debts and assets would be subject to South Carolina’s property division laws, which may result in a less favorable settlement.

What Is the Process for Modifying a Postnuptial Agreement?

Most people’s financial situations change over time. A couple who was married when they were in their early 20s may have drastically different assets and debts by the time they reach their 50s. A postnuptial agreement can and should be updated on a regular basis whenever there is a significant change in assets or financial circumstances.

Postnups are easily modified by amending the terms and having both spouses sign the new document. It’s important to ensure that there is nothing that could indicate fraud or coercion from one spouse toward the other spouse because this could cause a judge to invalidate the agreement. Postnups can also be revoked entirely if both parties agree.

Do I Need an Attorney for a Postnuptial Agreement?

While an attorney isn’t legally required to draw up a postnuptial agreement, it is always better to have dedicated representation when you are dealing with legal and financial matters. Each spouse should have their own attorney to ensure that there aren’t any conflicts of interest and that each party has someone who is looking out for only their best interests. Working with an attorney also ensures that your postnuptial agreement is created and signed in accordance with the law so there is less chance of it being contested later on.

At The Howze Law Firm, LLC, we believe that planning for all possible outcomes in the future is the best way to ensure your financial interests are protected, and we’re here to help make that happen. Call 803-324-9009 to schedule an appointment to discuss how a postnuptial agreement could benefit you.