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Postnuptials: An increasingly popular asset division tool

We have covered prenuptial agreements in the past and today we turn to a similar arrangement: the postnuptial. Because couples can enter into a "postnup" at any point during a marriage, a postnup might offer a more attractive and flexible way to avoid property disputes in Maryland divorces.

A postnup allows a couple to agree upon a plan for dividing their property in case of a divorce. Like a prenup, parties can generally use the agreement to cover a wide range of topics. For example, a postnup can say who gets to keep the couple's house, how the court should share a savings account, or how much alimony a spouse is entitled to receive. Agreements like this help streamline the divorce process by avoiding long and expensive disputes about property.

But unlike a prenup, a couple can decide to create a postnup at any point after getting married. This offers a big advantage. Many couples accumulate significant assets after the marriage or later in life. A prenup might not be able to capture these later acquisitions with enough precision.

A postnup also allows a couple to wait and have a conversation about potential divorce consequences after the marriage. Although the divorce rate shows how important it is to have a plan in place in case of a divorce, creating such a plan before the marriage can be uncomfortable for some couples.

Some couples also choose to talk about a postnup if they begin having disagreements later in the marriage. Divorce might be a worst case scenario for these couples but they still recognize the benefits of agreeing to a property division in advance. A postnup could be a more appropriate approach in either scenario.

Source: ABC 7, "Postnuptial agreements becoming more common, signed after couples get married," Ric Romero, Aug. 29, 2012

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