Most people are familiar with the concept of a prenuptial agreements or “prenups,” which helps set certain parameters for issues like property division in advance of a marriage. A lesser known family law tool, but one that can be equally helpful, is a postnuptial agreement. These are agreements solidified after marriage, and can be considered by British Columbia courts when decisions are being made in the case of a divorce.
Postnuptial agreements for couples who have signed a prenuptial agreement
One common use for a postnuptial agreement is to adjust the terms of a prenup when circumstances have changed. While many look at prenuptial agreements as “set it and forget it” documents, the terms should really be reviewed regularly just like an estate plan. This will ensure important issues, like new properties, businesses, children and so on are considered in the agreement.
Postnuptial agreements for couples who do not have a prenuptial agreement
Couples who did not draft an agreement before marrying may also seek a postnuptial agreement. This often happens when something new emerges that is important to safeguard, such as an inheritance or a business. These types of agreements can be drafted at any time during a marriage, so not having a prenuptial agreement should not stop individuals and couples from putting agreements in writing after the fact.
One major benefit of a postnuptial agreement is that it can help resolve issues quickly and in an orderly fashion if a marriage ever does end. In addition, it can help to protect assets like a property or business so that it does not need to necessarily be split down the middle in the case of a breakup. Those who are interested in drafting a postnuptial agreement should reach out to a British Columbia family lawyer as an important first step.