Skip to Content

Save Your Marriage with a Postnuptial Agreement


Save Your Marriage with a Postnuptial Agreement

I met with a married couple recently who had an unusual request. They wanted to discuss issues they were having in their open marriage. This was somewhat of an eye opening situation for me. They had always had an open marriage, but now they wanted to define and document some conditions. They wanted to know how they could do this legally. Although they had met with a marriage counselor who suggested verbal commitments, they wanted something that could have real consequences if each of their needs were not met. I suggested a postnuptial agreement. A postnuptial agreement has saved many marriages! A postnuptial agreement is also a great tool for the smoother transition of an eventual divorce!

So…..What is a Postnuptial Agreement?

A postnuptial agreement or “postnup” is a written and properly executed agreement that can be put into effect after you are married. The agreement documents obligations and responsibilities of each partner.

What can be covered in a Postnuptial Agreement?

Most issues that are important to your marriage. For some, it addresses financial concerns, children, religion; for others infidelity, inheritances, psychological issues and for the couple I mentioned earlier - parameters for their open marriage and the financial consequences if either party deviates from the plan.

Creating a Postnuptial Agreement can be like therapy!

Preparing a postnup can be a therapeutic experience. Couples get to discuss and review all the issues that are important to their marriage. Couples can establish boundaries and create a plan that works for both of them. Couples often decide to create a postnup to address one issue and after a discussion in my office we find there are other issues that need to be addressed too, like the consequences of a spouse’s gambling habit.

As a psychologically-trained divorce attorney and mediator I encourage clients who are having difficulties but want to save their marriage to consider a postnuptial agreement.

The development of a postnuptial agreement helps both parties have a voice, be heard, and have professional guidance to arrive together at an agreement that gives them both peace of mind.

Here’s a list of the more common issues addressed in a postnuptial agreement:

  1. Marital goals: what plans do you have for your marriage? Having children? Who will be the bread winner? How will expenses be handled?
  2. Children: Are you going to have any? How many? How will they be raised? What religion? What are your education goals for them? What is your parenting style?
  3. Property: Will property be in both names? Who will reside there in the event of a divorce?
  4. Inheritance: Will each spouse keep their own? Will they share?
  5. Earnings: Where will earnings be deposited? Will there be joint or separate accounts? Who will pay the bill? How will you pay the bills?
  6. Debts: Who will manage the credit cards? Will they be joint?
  7. Property: What will be marital property or separate property?
  8. Roles in a marriage: Who will manage the home? Who is going to work?
  9. Wills and estate planning: Have provisions been made in the event of death?

As a divorce attorney, I know that it is much easier to have the “tough talk” during a marriage than in divorce court.

A postnuptial agreement gives your marriage a chance to address everything that is important to both of you. It also helps define a relationship of trust. Once the postnuptial agreement is completed you can move forward with a framework that makes you both feel secure and empowered.

If for some reason your marriage does eventually dissolve, you have created a plan that can now be transitioned into a separation agreement. This can save you time, money, and emotional pain once a divorce is launched.

If I can help save your marriage or give you a more comfortable pathway to eventual divorce call me! 212.734.1551 Schedule your free consultation- you will learn a lot!

Warm regards,