Postnuptial agreements can address family law concerns

By |2022-04-04T16:54:48+00:0005 Feb 2014|Categories: Dispute, Family Law, Spousal Support|

Postnuptial agreements can address family law concerns

Prenuptial agreements have become common fixtures for many couples before marriage, including those in California. However, with the U.S. divorce rate now at 40 percent and the California rate at 60 percent, married couples in some circumstances should also consider postnuptial agreements when they make major changes during marriage. For example, postnuptial agreements may be helpful when one parent decides to forgo a career, perhaps temporarily, in order to stay at home to raise the couple’s children.

A postnuptial agreement operates in the same way a prenuptial contract does. It protects property separately owned by spouses and assigns the amount of spousal support in case the marriage ends. The main difference is that a postnuptial agreement is only drafted after the couple has exchanged their vows.

Because California is a community property state, asset division usually involves a 50-50 split. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can change that formula.

There is no single formula for how spouses will handle finances during their marriage. Particularly if only one of them works to meet the family’s needs, then financial decisions on savings, investments and spending should be specified in a postnuptial agreement.

In addition, a spouse who stays at home may be out of the workforce long enough that finding employment in a previous career becomes almost impossible after divorce. If a couple foresees the effects of giving up employment and accounts for it, then it becomes easier to identify the amount of spousal support after divorce and who will pay it.

Such family law concerns often result in disputes during divorce. Being proactive means drafting and signing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. However, because such an agreement acts as a contract, it should be drafted carefully and may require the help of an experienced family law attorney.

Source: Forbes, “Why you need a postnup and other points to consider before leaving your paid job to be a stay-at-home mom,” Jeff Landers, Jan. 22, 2014

About the Author:

Dorie Anne Rogers - The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
Dorie A. Rogers, a Family Law Specialist, Certified by the State Bar of California, has been an attorney since 1981 with an exclusive family law practice located in Orange County. She is accepting dissolution cases with support and property issues including the use of forensics to ascertain business value, community interests and to establish monthly case flow analysis. Ms. Rogers has substantial experience in high conflict custody litigation involving sophisticated psychological issues. She drafts premarital and postmarital agreement designed to define and establish parties' separate and community property interests. Paternity cases and domestic violence matters are considered part of her practice. Ms. Rogers is a court-approved and court-appointed to represent minor children.Ms. Rogers consults with individuals concerned about entering or exiting a relationship. She advises effective strategies for dissolution or premarital planning. Knowledge is power and good planning affords better results.Specialties: Family Law Specialist, Certified by the State Bar of California
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