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Will a postnuptial agreement make your marriage better?

You and your spouse may be about to celebrate your silver anniversary. You never had a prenuptial agreement, but as the years pass, circumstances change, and some kind of legal document that provides structure seems to be a good idea.

A postnuptial agreement can address just about anything you feel is important in making your marriage better. On the other hand, a postnup can set the pace for a smoother, easier divorce if it comes to that.

Sorting out the finances

The main reason couples choose to create a postnuptial agreement is to provide instructions about the division of finances and property in the event of a divorce. By the time you have been married for many years, you have acquired assets. Some you own separately, but many you own together. Your postnup will provide direction about your financial affairs that can make separation and divorce less stressful and complicated.

Propping up the marriage

If your spouse has gone off on a tangent — developed an addiction to alcohol or drugs or engaged in an extramarital fling, for example — a postnuptial agreement can show how dedicated you are to resolving the problem and continuing with the marriage.

Stopping the disagreements

You and your spouse may have been married long enough to finish each other’s sentences on a regular basis, but you still argue about who takes out the trash and whose family to invite to Thanksgiving dinner. You can actually address the day-to-day issues that stick in your craw by assigning responsibilities and setting up household rules in your postnuptial agreement.

Dealing with the unexpected

If you should get a windfall inheritance from Uncle Ned, you may want to stipulate how to distribute the funds. A postnuptial agreement can also protect your business, alleviate your concerns about income if you should re-enter the workforce after years as a homemaker, or ensure that a child from your first marriage inherits assets according to your wishes in the event of your death. There are many possibilities with a postnup, and among them is setting parameters that will ease your mind and make your marriage better.

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