When more people in Washington got married just after high school or university, prenuptial agreements may have seemed unnecessary to many. Prenups were often considered rare, a sign of a potential mismatch or upcoming divorce, or an indication that an ultra-wealthy person or a celebrity was involved. However, as the average age of marriage has increased, more people are opting for prenups. They want to decide for themselves how their homes and businesses will be handled in case of divorce, and they may be coming to the relationship with an established financial plan reflected in the agreement.
However, many of the same concerns that motivate people to opt for a prenuptial agreement may also affect people who are already married. Even more than a prenup, a postnuptial agreement may appear to simply serve as advance divorce negotiations over property division. While this can be true in some senses, it can also be an important part of financial planning for even happy couples who plan to stay together. Certain situations can make a postnup particularly important. For example, a person may be scheduled to inherit significant family assets or property. While they want to enjoy the inheritance with their spouse, the family may want guarantees that it will be protected from any future asset division.
Similarly, startup founders may have important financial reasons to pursue a postnup. Small, privately held businesses can fall apart if they are subjected to property division in a divorce. Many investors and venture capital firms want to see proof that their investment will be protected from divorce before sinking in their own money.
There are a number of reasons why a contract between spouses can be important to making a financial plan. A family law attorney may help a spouse to negotiate a fair postnup that protects their assets.