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Skipped the Pre-Nup? You Need This.
Meet the Post-Nup.
Welcome to The First Years of Marriage Newsletter! We talk about the conversations, challenges, and changes that begin once the honeymoon ends. Advice from experts, mistakes from me (Jen Glantz), and things you’re going to want to know as you continue to ask yourself this question - “I’m married, so now what?”
One more thing for you:
I am working on THE NEWLYWED CARD GAME! A card game for newlyweds that sparks meaningful convos, hilarious adventures, & fresh romantic moments after the honeymoon ends.
A limited number of decks will be available in December, so you can snag your game in the pre-sale + tons of bonus prizes too! Thank you for checking this out - woohoo!
Do You Need a Post-Nup?
But you 10000% need to understand, know, and digest what a post-nuptuial agreement is.
Because hello, good morning, you legally married someone. That doesn’t just mean you took your relationship to the next level, it means that you are combining a lot of of your assets, personal items, and even future fortunes together, forever, unless you have another legal document in place that explains how those things would be kept separate if you separated.
We shy away from talking about pre-nups and post-nups because they squeeze the romance out of the wedding day.
A postnuptial or "postnup" agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, but this legal contract is written and signed after the couple is legally wed. A postnup contract outlines how assets will be divided.
The wedding day is just one big celebration around signing a legal marriage license.
So maybe we should normalize signing another legal document that states who owns what walking into the marriage and, if it were to happen, walking out.
I know that sounds negative and harsh, but we are talking about you and your finances and assets. We are talking about planning for the worst case scenario and what’s wrong with that?
We have hurricane preparation plans in case a category 5 swings through our neighborhood and we have a plan B option for our weddings in case it rains and we can’t have our ceremony outside.
Why not our marriage? Why not?
I didn’t get a pre-nup, but I did spend time asking a divorce lawyer for all the details about what that document is and why I would need it. I wrote about that in my book.
But recently, I sat down with a few divorce lawyers to try to wrap my head around what a post-nup is and if it’s something I, or YOU, might need.
Here are the four benefits of getting one.
1. It takes the stress off your relationship
After you get married, you and your partner might start making changes to your overall financial portfolio. That alone might cause some stress on the relationship.
Family law attorney Brent Kaspar says that a postnuptial agreement is a way to help you have in-depth discussions about money with your partner.
"The process of setting up a postnuptial agreement requires you and your partner to have in-depth discussions. To write a thorough contract, you'll need to talk about your finances, your hopes for the future, and whether or not you want children," says Kaspar. "Also, the contract itself can be reassuring. Some couples use it to outline relationship responsibilities and expectations on top of financial details. When you both know what you expect out of the relationship, you'll feel more secure. That means less stress and less risk of a relationship breakdown and divorce."
2. You get clarity around assets
Even though I don't always think I have many assets, the truth is I do. I have a savings account, investment accounts, a business, and more. My partner and I also had a few joint assets before we got married (accounts and investments). One benefit of a postnup is understanding how ownership of these assets works now that you are married.
"If you and your partner have been together for a while before getting married, you may already have combined assets. You can use a postnuptial contract to officially share ownership of these assets," says Kaspar.
3. It minimizes uncertainty in the event of divorce
When entering a marriage, divorce isn't something you plan for, but it can happen. Family-law attorney Sabrina Shaheen Cronin says that since divorce can be a breeding ground for disagreement, frustration, and vindictiveness, causing thousands and thousands of dollars to be spent on attorneys, a postnup can help mitigate this long before it might ever be needed.
Says Shaheen Cronin, "Postnuptial agreements address issues such as property division, inheritance payments, insurance policies, debt, and support payments, all of which need to be determined prior to the entry of a divorce judgment in order for the agreement to be valid."
4. It's useful if your financial situation changes later in life
As the years go on, there could be financial changes that happen within the relationship and the couple's personal lives (from their income to a change in career). Shaheen Cronin says it may be worthwhile to consider a postnup to protect those new assets in the event of a divorce.
Most couples with significant assets will sign a prenup before marriage, she says, but for couples who have more moderate incomes and limited assets, a prenup probably wasn't signed. As time goes on, though, that could change — either spouse could come into an inheritance, get a big salary boost, or you could invest together. A postnup could help you figure out who would own what in the event of a divorce.
Additionally, says Shaheen Cronin, "It is possible that at the beginning of the relationship the spouses did not have any debt to speak of, and therefore did not discuss what would happen in the event of a separation. Then, later in the relationship, one of the spouses incurred a significant number of debts for which the other spouse does not want to be responsible." In that case, a postnup could help you clarify who's responsible for the debt and put it in writing.
Would you get a post-nup?
My job here with this newsletter is to never tell you what to do. But it’s to empower you to know, understand, and process the things people don’t talk about at brunch.
So, how do you feel about getting a post-nup?
Would you consider a post-nup?
I’m still thinking about it.
Until next week -
Love you (for as long as we both shall live),
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