Postmarital Agreements, also known as Postnuptial Agreements, are similar to Premarital Agreements except that they are executed AFTER the marriage instead of before. They are valid and enforceable but, when challenged, they are looked at with a bit more scrutiny by the courts. Why would courts be more suspect of a financial agreement made by married people compared to a financial agreement made by an engaged couple? LEVERAGE – It’s easier to walk away from a wedding than to walk away from a marriage. The person that wants out is going to be the one who controls the terms of a postmarital agreement. The person that wants to keep the marriage intact could be subject to duress which is one of the basis to void a contract. My job is to not only prepare the agreement, but to make sure it has the best chance to remain enforceable.
Why would anyone enter into a Postmarital Agreement? Maybe they intended to do a Premarital Agreement but circumstances prevented it. More often, something occurs during the marriage that puts the marriage in jeopardy. It often involves issues of trust, financial or otherwise. Sometimes the act/promise of some current or future financial consideration allows trust to be reestablished so that the marriage can be worked on and healed. It could be seen as a, “put your money where your mouth is,” sort of deal. There could be other reasons for these kinds of agreements as well.