Saskatoon Postnuptial Agreement Lawyers Helping Clients Protect Their Assets If They Get Divorced
It’s common for people to sign a prenuptial agreement before they get married so they can specify who gets to keep which assets in case of divorce. However, not every couple gets around to signing this agreement before the wedding. If you’re already married and are thinking about the benefits of signing a marital agreement, you should look into drafting a postnuptial agreement with your spouse.
This document works the same as a prenup, except you can sign it after you’re married, whether it’s been months or several years since your wedding. If you’re not sure if you need a postnup or how to get one, we encourage you to meet with a postnuptial agreement lawyer at Panko Collaborative Law & Mediation. As you wait for your initial consultation, you should get to know what this legal document can and cannot address and how a family law lawyer will help with it.
Do You Need a Postnuptial Agreement?
Any couple can draft and sign a postnuptial agreement at any time after the wedding. Some couples choose to make one simply because they ran out of time before getting married, but they don’t want to miss out on the chance to protect their assets in case they ever get divorced. However, for many couples, certain life changes can prompt them to want a postnup.
For instance, if your financial situation has changed since getting married, you might have more motivation to consider what will happen to your assets if you get divorced. This is especially the case if you recently started a company or inherited a family business and want to ensure that you’re still the owner if your marriage doesn’t work out. But it also applies if you decided to leave your job so you can stay home with the children or take care of the house, as you can protect your financial future by requesting spousal support if you get divorced.
Another reason to make a postnuptial agreement is if you and your spouse are having trouble managing certain aspects of life. For example, if you’re tired of your in-laws or your spouse’s other relatives stopping by constantly, you can address this in the postnup by setting forth some rules about this issue. You can do the same if you want to confirm who does which household tasks or how you will raise your children. Coming to a compromise on these topics, and then putting the agreement in writing can keep them from becoming bigger problems in the future.
Finally, a married couple might sign a postnup when one spouse receives an inheritance that is supposed to be just theirs, not shared by the couple. In fact, some families might require the recipient of the inheritance to create a postnuptial agreement to ensure it stays within the family even after divorce. No matter what your reason for a postnup may be, we can help. Contact our Saskatoon law firm to talk to a postnuptial agreement lawyer today.
What Should This Document Address?
Most postnuptial agreements focus on how you and your spouse will handle your assets and debts if you get divorced or if one of you passes away. While it’s generally up to you and your spouse to decide which topics to cover, most postnuptial agreements discuss how to handle the following:
- Marital property, such as the family home and the items within it
- Other properties, including investment and vacation homes
- Bank accounts
- Investment accounts
- Family heirlooms
- Business interests
- Insurance policies
- Debts, including personal loans and credit card bills
Basically, your postnup should discuss who will get each asset and who will pay each debt. It can also address whether one of you will get spousal support, how and where you will raise your children, and which assets your minor children from a previous marriage will get if you pass away. If you want to know what specific topics to cover in your postnup, come to our Saskatoon law office to get started.
What Would Make a Postnuptial Agreement Invalid?
Postnuptial agreements can hold a lot of power since they state which assets and debts you will end up with if you get divorced. As such, there are a lot of rules surrounding what you can and cannot include in this legally binding document. If you don’t follow the rules when you draft this agreement, a judge will not enforce it, so it’s essential to make sure you know what leads to a valid postnuptial agreement.
First, your agreement has to be in writing, since a judge won’t enforce a verbal agreement. Furthermore, this document has to be signed by both parties in front of a witness. If you do not follow these basic steps, your document won’t be legally binding.
In addition, it must be clear that both you and your spouse voluntarily agreed to the conditions in the postnup. If a judge believes that one spouse coerced, threatened, or lied to the other spouse in order to force a signature, the document will be considered invalid. This is why you need to make sure you and your spouse each hire a lawyer to examine the document. Not only will this show that both spouses voluntarily agreed to sign the document, but it will also ensure that the conditions are fair to both people. After all, if the postnup is clearly one-sided and unfair, a judge won’t enforce it after your divorce. So, if your postnup would leave your spouse destitute and you would be financially much better off after the divorce, it likely won’t be enforceable.
A final tip to consider when drafting your postnuptial agreement is that you cannot stipulate anything regarding child parenting arrangements or child support. Those details will be determined separately, so if you try to include them in your postnup, a judge won’t enforce the document. Instead, focus on property division and related topics when you draw up this agreement. Hiring a postnuptial agreement lawyer to help write it will ensure that you avoid any mistakes that will make it invalid, so call our advocates specializing in family law, based in Saskatoon.
Should You Hire a Lawyer for a Postnuptial Agreement?
You don’t have to be considering divorce to create a postnup. In fact, many couples write one while their relationship is strong because they realize that it’s worth it to think about ways to protect their future, even if divorce is unlikely for them. If you want peace of mind when it comes to your financial future, you and your spouse should consider how a postnup can benefit both of you.
If you decide that this document is right for you, your next decision is for each of you to choose a lawyer who has years of experience writing prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. When you hire a legal professional, they can tell you which points to discuss in the contract to ensure that your assets are protected. For instance, they will make sure you don’t leave out what to do with a vacation property, joint account, or a valuable heirloom left to you by a family member. After all, if you do not specify how to handle an asset, it’s possible you could be ordered to split it with your spouse or lose it entirely during a divorce.
The right lawyer will tell you not only what issues to include in the document, but also which ones to avoid discussing. If you talk about child parenting arrangements or child support, the court won’t enforce the document. Similarly, if you make unfair or extreme requests of your spouse, a judge will likely refuse to enforce the postnup, so it’s important to get the input of a skilled lawyer while drafting the contract.
If you and your spouse wrote a postnuptial agreement years ago, you can still use some legal advice from a lawyer who has written and updated several documents of this kind. For instance, if you want to add a request for spousal maintenance or remove information about a property you no longer own, a lawyer can help you create an updated document as needed. They can also review it with you if it’s been years since you drafted it and you want to make sure it still makes sense for you and your spouse.
Another reason to hire a postnuptial agreement lawyer is if you are heading toward divorce and want to check that your postnup is fair to you. If you signed it years or even decades ago, it’s possible that your perspective has changed, and an idea that you agreed to or thought was fair no longer applies. For instance, you might have agreed that you didn’t want spousal support, but maybe that was before you gave up your career to take care of the kids and the house, and you’re realizing that you deserve to be financially compensated for this.
Whether you want to review an existing postnup or are ready to create your first one with your spouse, we can help. Our compassionate lawyers understand the emotions that come with preparing for a possible separation from your spouse, and we will do everything we can to protect your future. Contact us at 306-518-8107 at your convenience to set up a consultation with our caring legal team.